[Poetry/Film] Rhondda Rhiannon
A blend of archive photos & poetry from UK poet Rhondda Rhiannon.
Born and raised in Bristol (England), 26 year old contemporary poet Rhondda Rhiannon is part of Octavia Poetry Collective, a poetry group for women of colour hosted at the South Bank Centre in London, exhibiting performances of poetry encouraging discussion around race and gender. We first met the talented poet at a spoken word evening in London hosted by Amnesty International. Rhondda expresses how her poetry "is mainly inspired by real life events, my own experiences and other writing that resonates with me".
I've always liked writing and literature, but what lead me to poetry was grieving the death of my little sister. The pain was unimaginable and journalling became one of my coping mechanisms, the journalling naturally morphed into poetry.
The following short film's entitlted 'Light' + 'In The Night' are poetic reflections on this period in her life dealing with the loss of her younger sister, a powerful example of poetry as a method for dealing with and transforming difficult moments into art as a tool for hope and coping with the pain of loss.
Speaking on the current state of poetry, Rhondda describes how:
2020 has been a crazy year beyond what anyone could've predicted and I think the role of poetry in 2020 is to help keep us all sane. We wont be able to make sense of all this for a while but we can at least express ourselves and use poetry to document what were going through. The advice I have for anyone getting into poetry would be to explore, read loads, look up different poets, try different writing styles, and most importantly be authentic.
You can read both of the poems in full below;
In The Night
Velvet drips from the tap,
into the sink of my mouth
filling me with what is lost.
I’ll pretend you can hear me.
A half-angel stands,
I try and I try,
and the more I try the more we miss
each other. Two particles in water.
There must have been needles.
On a white sheet pinpricks of red.
You’ve had a shock they said.
I see someone else holding her hand,
You've killed her.
My mind walks through
corridors, our old home is
boxes and blank picture frames.
Her room remains untouched,
still smells of coconut oil and lavender,
the mirror shows you struggling
through your hair with a
I tell you to hold the roots,
Tease out from the tips,
look I’ll show you.
I cross the room,
knowing that I’ll never reach you.
Blue dewy bathroom walls, the radiant buzz of electric light. Water gargled in my ears, don't drown.
I was three when I realised light alone cannot save you.
One struck match against my mother’s warnings burst into an adolescent flame. Searing a hole in my tartan skirt.
I was four when I realised I could be set on fire.
Premature evening skies, glazed in an orange hue, I tip toe twirled
through the shadow patterns on my granddads veranda.
I was five when I saw Jamaican sun.
The ghostly imprint of a candle that’s just been blown out, power cuts left us impaired, in temporary blindness.
I was six when I realised we depend on light source.
Talks of maturity, yellow paint, and midwife visits I was seven when I learned how to share my mum, that’s when I realised;
Light can come from people too.
- Psychic Garden