Hilary Walker is a Manchester born poet. She works as a Funeral celebrant and lives in Up Holland, Lancashire with her musician husband and their three pets. She has a daughter who comes from Romania. Hilary was something of a latecomer to poetry writing her first poem ‘accidentally’ at the age of forty-six but delighting in the experience of discovering creativity. She began performing her poems in the early days of the Bolton based poetry performance group Write Out Loud in 2004 and gained experience reading her work at open mic events around the North West. She has also travelled with the group to poetry festivals, including Bordeaux, and on a personal level she has performed in Greenwich Village, New York and more recently this year, in San Francisco. After a couple of years of putting other things first Hilary rejoined the poetry circuit in early 2017 and is thoroughly enjoying her ‘comeback.’ Since then she’s been busy: She has made it to a Slam final (Axis Autumn Slam 2017) Performed as a featured artist at various local poetry gigs. Made a video/poem with Mark Mace Smith of Thud Dub Films – Collaborated with her jazz pianist husband, Paul Walker, to produce pieces of piano poetry. In September 2018 she had her first collection of poems published – Saving Lives by Preeta Press. Hilary writes passionately about life experiences and doesn’t flinch from tackling such issues as infertility, foreign adoption, mental illness or the menopause. She feels that within her poetry she creates a space of honesty that is difficult to find in any other aspect of her life. Hilary has faith in the power of words and she believes that poetry saves lives.
Giving the world to Venus Row upon row, cot upon cot, and the smell. I watch the worn out, tired, hard-life women as they casually throw babies around for a living, they hold a child feet first under a freezing cold water tap and grin with amusement to see my horror at that It’s hard not to judge Babies for sale, dark-skin cheaper than pale, babies damaged, derailed, babies with missing years lost inside their heads as they rock, and rock Children paraded, tiny hands reach out to grab hold of my heart, two years old but babies, undersized, unsteady, undernourished and some already looking at life through empty eyes a voice says ‘We don’t wish to offend but would you be willing to consider a gypsy child?’ It’s hard not to judge My gypsy baby is number twelve, she is the smallest and the darkest, but her eyes shine and tell me she is still holding on tight to her spirit, no sign yet of surrender I hold this tiny life and ask myself what right I have to take her from her country, her culture and her creed, then I look around at her country, her culture and her creed and know for certain that she will die here, even if she lives, so I’m sold, and I’m told I must find her mother, find Venus Venus with her rich olive skin is beautiful but Venus is not the Goddess of Love, Venus is young and has no shoes and snow is falling lightly above the filthy oil fields of Prahova County. We smile and I try to remember everything. I’m told she has dreams for the baby she’s never seen, to become an English princess, like the daughter of a queen. It’s hard not to judge I want to buy Venus some shoes but the interpreter scorns and warns ‘She’s just a gypsy, she’ll want more, you must show her you are strong’ But I don’t want to be strong, I want to give her the world for she has given the world to me. Rebellion kicks in Venus and I link arms and go shopping in downtown Bucharest. In department stores devoid of light we rummage together cheerfully, new comrades searching deep in the darkness We emerge triumphant with an odd pair of ill-fitting boots, and as I raise my eyes to gaze at the mother of my child, I see Venus, the Goddess of love, who now stands magnificently with the world at her feet.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
Masks of grief (20/09/2020)
White Silence (11/06/2020)
Escape 1970 (23/05/2020)
Human Touch (18/05/2020)
Casualty of our time (Coronavirus 2020) (17/05/2020)
Aftermath (Covid 19) (15/05/2020)
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