One stormy evening I will never forget: Kate Tempest, my favourite contemporary poet, came to Heidelberg. A young woman from South London with a touching voice and beautiful vision. Mixing Hip Hop with ancient literature. A fresh fountain full of rhyming words and wisdom.
I can smell the thunder coming. I can smell the rain. You’re the only one I ever knew whose arms could hold my flames, without burning like the others burnt, they told me ‘Hell’s to blame’. I told them – ‘Hell’s a choice we make’, and I swear Blake would tell the same. And yes – all deities do reside within, so how come I feel this presence above? Your love that unplugs my heart and starts the floods again within me. Drowning out the badness that I harbour, while my goodness battens down the hatches and holds on to her partner – she’s telling me – ‘storm’s coming’ – well of course it is, it always is on nights like this. The tower blocks are murmuring, I sense a turning wind. I glimpse a man who isn’t even there and I know the glitch for all it’s worth – I pass out full of madness and I wake up drenched in thirst, like – Give me whisky! Give me beers to glug! Just let me lose this fear. I’ll love anyone who’s near enough to even looking a little bit like you. Look, all I’m trying to say’s today’s like all them other days. All I’m trying to do is mark this down and make this true – make this count for something. Coz nothing is eternal, nothing means a thing. Nobody believes nothing, that’s why we live in all this sin and we mistake it for normality – even something to attain. My dissent sets me apart, but today I smell that rain. It’s come to wash away the masks, the marks embedded in our weary hearts. Yes, this is merely metaphor, but metaphor is flexing jaw and getting ready for the fight he’s come to fight with the surface world. We have lost our purpose hurled into the furnace where the burn is near celestial. Yes – my eyes will dim, but the rhymes will sing in times to come, since I begun my head’s been filled with end. These people wear too many faces but the truth will strike again.
We wake up in the end times, curled up in the wreckage. Saying – life will happen whether you dismiss it or expect it. Let me look into your eyes, see my own eyes reflected. I’m crying oceans into paragraphs, coz behind our backs our shadows laugh.
(“End Times” by Kate Tempest)