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Vanessa Kisuule I Thank You

This poem is a thank you to Vanessa Kisuule for her poem ‘Take Up Space’, a message of empowerment to girls and women. I thought this was fitting as today is international day of the girl, although the message applies to anyone it resonates for.

Vanessa Kisuule I Thank You


Vanessa Kisuule I thank you,

for your poem awoke me 

to the power of spoken word.

You said, ‘Take up space.’

And so I do.

I fill the space I’ve got, yet discover

it doesn’t take away space from others,

if I stand to defend human rights, equality and justice.

As I take up space and raise my voice, 

in a wake up call to the planetary crisis,

it makes more space.


Vanessa Kisuule I thank you

for this gift you sent for my daughter.

Words I sought, you’d already formed,

a seed of intent to sow inside,

as I watch her raise her blazing eyes

to gaze upon the horizon

and take up space,

to manifest her dreams out loud

in a thousand coruscating colours,

all fired up. I am so proud

to see my strong girl grow with honour,

emboldened and inspired 

to show her true face.


Vanessa Kisuule I thank you

for your validation, 

as one by one we stand to shout,

no more restrained, ‘Break out of chains 

and take up space.

Be unashamed.’

The affirmation passed around

will echo down through history.

Your legacy remains to say,

to all who feared there was no room, it is ok to

take up space.

There is a place for you, so

take up space.


©️Janey Colbourne 2018


International day of the girlVanessa Kisuulefeministfreedom of expression

◄ Respect to the Snowflake Generation

Long Distance Love ►


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Martin Elder

Fri 12th Oct 2018 09:05

a magnificent poem with a beautiful delivery. I love the whole notion of taking up space.

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Janey Colbourne

Thu 11th Oct 2018 17:03

Vanessa was the poet that inspired me to become a spoken word poet myself. I shared my tribute with her on Twitter and she said it was ‘wonderful and heartfelt’ and she wished myself and my daughter ‘unapologetic glory’. I’m pretty blown away.

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