June 1913 / June 2017.

Vote now

Some people never had to fight for anything in their lives. Some people never  needed a vote because they were born knowing they owned everything and owed nothing to anyone. Some people had nothing until they had a vote. Don’t tell me you you’d betray the right to use what some people died to give you.

I know when this goes out via Facebook and Twitter I’ll be preaching to the converted. But so are The Sun, The Mail and The Express. And, possibly, the BBC. So if you share this, you’ll do so in solidarity, and who knows…someone you know who thinks voting doesn’t matter may just think again. We do what we can do. Some did more than that.

emily davison

Camera obscura              


(Emily Wilding Davison. d. June 1913)


The reason for your being here

is out of sight. They can’t be seen –

your Cause’s colours sewn inside

your decent coat: white, violet, green.



The camera sees the moment you began to die:

the jockey,  trim in silks, is doll-like

on the grass and seems asleep;

his mount is spraddled on its back;

its useless hooves flail at the sky.



Your spinning, flower-trimmed hat

is stopped, distinct, mid-flight;

your hair’s still not come down;

you’re frozen, inches from the ground;

your boots are neatly buttoned,

take small steps on the  arrested air.



You’re stopped in time. No sound, no texture, no sour odour

of bruised grass and earth. Just

silence and the alchemy of light.



How did you comprehend

the shock of heat, huge muscle, hair,

in that white moment

when the dark came down?



The camera cannot tell;

it’s business neither truth nor lies.

It shows a fallen horse. A woman falling. A crowd

in hats and blazers staring down a long perspective;

the field intent upon the distant fairy icing

grandstand. The waving flags. The finish line.



Until the image blurs, dissolves in silver flowers,

it’s there on celluloid in shades of grey;

the camera only says that in that instant

you are dying, and everyone has looked away.

emily 2




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.