Two Poems

Spring 2016, Uncategorized

by Sophie-Louise Hyde

Editor’s Note: These verbatim poems were crafted in response to witness testimonies following the riots across England in 2011, which began after a young man was shot and killed by police officers in Tottenham, London. These pieces focus, specifically, on the experiences of individuals in Birmingham, England.

AUGUST 10: Members of the local community lay flowers where three people were killed after being struck by a vehicle in the Winson Green area on August 10, 2011 in Birmingham, England. Police have launched a murder inquiry following this. The three people were struck by a car after reportedly trying to protect shops from rioting and looting in Dudley Road.


August 10th 2011             


Street steps to face tramlines beneath
Birmingham New Street.

Shut down because of fire, and
loads of smoke at the station–

not riot related.

At the scene of a cannabis farm that
the police have found, but it’s
more like a ‘plant’. People are
getting silly now. My heart
goes out to

                      the families
in Winson Green, not out of
sympathy but out of respect
for saving our country.
Tariq Jahan deserves an OBE, or
he should receive

                                   a knighthood.
‘Tariq Jahan: A Very Brave Man’
is trending in the UK as the Asian
communities weigh up
how to react to those who
killed them.

Candles mark the spot. Loads of
police, and the media for three Muslims
who were looking after their own
community; human nature
leading to-–

Murder. A very brave man
has sadly lost his son.
This is not human nature, but
the work of mere animals; to
commit a hit-and-run away! A

lit vigil marks the spot and
emotions run high, as
police are given extra time
to quiz the 32-year-old man accused of
murdering three men in

An inquest is due to be opened tomorrow.



On Monday Night


Smethwick, on Monday Night. Where a Sikh thanks @wmpolice
for the retweet about ‘the UK’s first ornate temple’
being under threat at 12.45am,
following a peace rally in Winson Green.
Social media online, the spirit of people,
virtual or after is amazing. Digital
communities form lines across
t-shirts with it.
Videos going viral promoting a total mixture
of races, religious protests and marches,
of Blacks, of Asians, and Whites
on Monday night.

Smethwick, on Monday night.
The Guru Nanak Gurdwara stands, and spirits sing.

Sophie-Louise Hyde is a PhD candidate at Loughborough University, U.K. studying the techniques of verbatim in poetry in order to create a new body of work that demonstrates practice as research. Her other interests include experimental poetry and collaboration across art forms. She is also the founder of online creative writing and publishing platform. The Student Wordsmith.

Photo credit: Three Killed In Hit And Run During Birmingham Riot. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 10 Mar 2016.