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Patti Smith: A Poem by Wilson Oryema

A Poem by Wilson Oryema


Wilson Oryema photographed by Tyron Lebon


London based writer and multi-disciplinary artist Wilson Oryema wrote this poem in response to Patti Smith’s work and her current CIRCA commission ‘A New Year’ for January 2021. 


A Poem by Wilson Oryema

If thou obscures thine sight
Simply for peace of mind
Despite the perils which surround thee under observable light Is one at fault
If they slip and fall
Atop a mine…
Whether alone
Or inadvertently dragging down those who follow behind?

Who knows…
This question is not mine to answer

It is for those who worry of the thoughts in others minds
It is for those who avert their eyes as they see trouble arise
It is for those who sit along for the ride, enjoy the safety it provides but remain still watching their stop pass them by

Your train is currently on schedule
But there is no red carpet at your designated stop
The train doors are always locked
However there’s a small hammer to crack the glass
Which will require a few firm knocks
And no
The engine will not simply turn off
Waiting for you to make it across
All one can hope is the momentum of your conviction will help you clear the distance and land firmly on your socks.


Wilson Oryema is a writer and multidisciplinary artist based in London, who specializes in image, text, and film. His poetry collection Wait explores the complexities of behavior, what we consume and what we are consumed by, and what it means to be human, here and now. With influences from his time in the fashion industry and his work as an environmentalist, Oryema’s work is rich with questions and emotions we have all felt at one time or another.