I wrote most of this collection when I was between the ages of twelve and twenty-two, re-visiting them when I was in my forties, to re-write and review, but staying true to their original form and content, respecting the idealism of my young inquisitive mind.
Since then I’ve delved deeper and wrapped my mind and thinking around what it means to ‘believe’, to have ‘faith’, to be ‘human’.
The collection provides an insight to my thoughts and feelings as an adolescent and young adult. I was growing up in the turbulent inner city area of Brixton with Pentecostal religion and Christianity forming the backdrop. I was one of many black British youth born into a community of commonwealth immigrants who were made to feel less than welcome in the mother country, and left wondering why we were invited here in the first place.
The world was rapidly changing, the cold war, proliferation of nuclear weapons, mass demonstrations and protests, racial tensions and the international space programme – were all headline news stories at the time. I remember being particularly traumatized by images of famine in Biafra and Ethiopia, by the wars in Vietnam, Israel and Northern Ireland. I was challenged by the impact of communism in Poland, USSR and China, angered by apartheid, and disappointed by the role of the West in the whole sorry mess.
I was consequently alienated and angst ridden. I sought a spiritual solution to material problems over which I had no control, by exploring the relevance and the tangibility of human love, and my religious beliefs.
I wanted to understand the nature of God and the concept and practice of religion in every day life. I expressed this by writing poems and songs which helped me fuel the passion of my faith, and which also helped me appreciate in a very real way, the direction and focus that faith has given me.
As relevant today as when they were first created, this collection of early writing and more recent work embraces and nurtures in my later years, providing comfort stability and security that withstand the test of time.
‘Urban Pentecost – A Book of Christian Poetry’ including images of original artwork is due to be completed in 2016. Remember to add your name to my mailing list to be amongst the first to know when my books are published, and to find out about exclusive offers.