Saturday, 8 September 2012

Blind Long Jumping

I've been enthralled by the Paralympics. As a disabled person myself I've felt inspired - an over-used word admittedly - to seek to offer more and be more. I was stunned, however, watching the women athletes participating in the Long Jump for the blind. Not least by the way 80000 hushed themselves and the athletes gave themselves over to the beat. This poem is a tribute to the athletes and the crowd.

Blind Long Jumping

So this is how a world might
become small, coming down
to a clap, a beat, a voice.

She’s heard it growing for years,
exploring where it goes, learning
its lead. Now she knows it well
enough. Who cares what has been
lost or found? There is only the beat
of clapping hands, a private rhythm
everyone understands.

If there was nothing else, it would
still be enough. She has it all.
The silence, the breath,
the sound. She steps, she runs,
leaping into dark, into light.
Into orbit at last.

(London Paralympics 2012)