Let everyone in. Let in a flinty-eyed coal miner from Elk Creek, and a tiny cleaning lady who lives above a bakery in Uppsala. The world belongs to them. It belongs to a Peruvian boy, only six years old, who is learning to play his mother’s upright piano. The world belongs to a ring-billed gull winkling a hermit crab out of a seashell, it belongs to the crab and the eggs it laid; it belongs to a fern growing in the damp mortar of a crumbling four story house in Glasgow.

A breath founded the world, one long exhalation, the young universe evolving into unnumbered galaxies over eons; and the world was made by the unwinding motion of a rainbow serpent, and by a giant who vomited stars; and in the beginning, everything appeared out of a silent void after a bearded man no larger than a frog awoke from a dream and rubbed his belly, round and round, eleven times. Let all this in.

The world finds a thousand ways to put thoughts in your head: it speaks through the smiling eyes of a debutante; it utters profundities through the mathematical scribblings of a one-handed savant living in a yurt in a Welsh valley; and it makes itself heard through an outraged schoolgirl who stands up in front of her elders and valiantly accuses them of stealing her childhood with their empty words— Let in everything that releases pent up emotion.

Let it all in and interrupt the speaker with questions. The world answers in its own manner, finding in their shadowy niche the almost blind and deaf whose eyes caught a glimmer, whose ears caught a dizzying tune, who felt the universe breathing out, lifting their heads as a gate opens, overcoming a grinding resistance, and letting in splendour.

Selected byRaymond Huffman
Image credit:Greg Rakozy

I live on the north coast of Wales, in the UK. And I work as a cleaner. I've been a gardener, a decorator, I've worked in Paint and wallpaper shop, and I've hung curtains and blinds for a living.  Everything I know about poetry I've learned from a few books and the internet. I write because I enjoy it, and because it feels worthwhile.