Publication Date: June, 2020
Location: On this page of the Ledbury Poetry Festival website. There are quite a lot of poems on there! At the time of writing, On the Cusp of Transformation is about halfway down. The best way to find it, though, is just run a search for ‘Robert’ or ‘Cusp’.
Genesis: Back in March of this year, I embarked on a year-long project to write a poem in each of the 100 forms listed here. The original plan was not to document the current Covid-19 situation in poetry but, inevitably, a lot of the poetry I am writing currently is influenced by the unprecedented global events we are witnessing at this time. In April, I wrote this poem using the Bop form, developed by the poet Afaa Michael Weaver.
The rules for the Bop call for three stanzas, each followed by a refrain. (I’ve only just noticed, in preparing this post, that I missed the final refrain in the published version, so I fixed the issue here). The first stanza presents a problem and must be six lines long. The second stanza, of eight lines, expands on the problem, and the third, six lines long, either presents a solution or explains why an attempt to solve it failed. It’ll be clear, even by the title, that I went for the first option!
From globally interconnected to social isolation - It was a big leap to make, and very fast! This pandemic touches every soul, in every nation, And we’ve no real idea how long it’ll last, And some of us are wondering - what is this creation? Could it have something to do with those new masts? On the cusp of Transformation, high vibration, celebration! Grim statistics pour constantly into homes around the world While we’re stuck indoors, can’t go out, and running out of cash. The global levels of mental stress have people wound up and curled As bank accounts, careers and plans, all quickly turn to ash. We can’t let off steam on a football pitch, or even down the pub, Holidays and day trips banned, on pain of fines or jail. Every type of gathering’s off, every society, every club, Businesses going down the tubes as economies flounder and fail. On the cusp of Transformation, high vibration, celebration! There’s opportunity in this chaos, opportunity for growth. Redesign society, recreate ourselves - or both! Choose a higher vibration, be grounded, centred, calm; Choose to be the light of the world; choose to be its balm. Choose to manifest a better You, through which, a better Us, And thereby moving humanity from B-minus to A-plus. On the cusp of Transformation, high vibration, celebration!