We have split this poem into small extracts and hand them out at Elstree Protests. Our Banners also feature extracts.
The poem is based on many of the tweets written in reference to the Berena story line from around Nov 2018 – Jan 2019 and contains about 80% tweets and 20% the poets own words. It also features in bold extracts from The BBC’s reply to a complaint filed
All tweeters have been contacted and permission has been given to use their works.
See the thunder clouds boiling
The virulent green grass
Directing the last sharp sun
Against the sky?
Thank you for contacting us about Holby City.
Each blade, each life, each one
Is exactly what JUST BIT YOU IN THE BUTT!
Yes, you sir.
Tell me, how many of them have taken notice?
How many began to feel human and real
And heard and Seen?
We’re very sorry to hear that you were extremely disappointed about the break up between Bernie and Serena.
This is just grass you say.
The stories it whispers in the long winds of play
Were never meant to be heard by conscious day.
No single character is intended to represent a profession, culture or any other group of people – they are individuals first and foremost.
Yes all back in our boxes now,
Well some of us anyway.
I’ll brush past your naive grass
That the world will be kind again.
Holby City is a fictional drama, and therefore has to be viewed in this context. We feel that our viewers understand this.
It’s nothing more than a paint job.
I never said it was art
That drives knives through the heart.
Let it go. So one dies
One cheats, the relationship
Post consummation goes dark.
So you don’t understand the
Beauty of your creations.
For me, everything that came
Before feels undermined
By the way that it ended.
Please have some grace.
Back to those
Who will steward the breeze
Will softly flow
Will end into a new beginning.
But it’s only grass, shallow grass
You, sir, say.
We are without limit
And an astonishing amount of pain.
It is never the BBC’s intention that our drama programmes should inadvertently affect someone’s personal wellbeing.
In conflict with it.
Their story was trashed in 3 episodes
We were baited waited baited waited
Till the last 10 minutes.
Maybe they’ll marry.
Maybe you’ll get your happy ending
Ah get over it. These are fictional characters.
For them this was real. Their lives. Their hopes. Fiction has that power sometimes. It shows us what we can be. Gives us that mirror
They cheat or they die… nothing new there
I have seen them really struggling to stay well.
I understand you feel strongly about this and please be assured I have placed your complaint on our daily audience feedback report
Why the absolute fuck have you done this?
I hope they don’t end this badly.
Why did we know this would happen?
This is confusing.
Ummmmm…. I have no words.
Slow slow clap.
I don’t feel like waking up at the moment.. it’s like a punch in the stomach.
But the story took on a life of its own.
If you are grass there is nothing new in knowing
No-one wants to hear and will silence your voice.
These scars can’t be felt
By all of us.
I just can’t get over the fact that they knew.
They knew this was coming.
These scars explain my anonymity.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us
I’m not dangling anymore.
I’ve had it.
They need to let us go now.
We’re not getting over it.
And like the rain
It fell everywhere.
I have never suffered from anxiety before
But my anxiety levels were high and constant.
While we note you are unhappy with this story development…
Berena has made me wonder so much
What my life would have been like
If I had truly been honest with myself
Much, much earlier.
A sea of rain
Kissing our faces
Tender and gentle.
I found a welcoming fandom
And community of amazing women
From around the world.
…I didn’t sleep that night
But instead connected with other women around the world
Who were also grieving.
I just don’t understand what happened…
We don’t believe such a storyline would fall
Outside the expectations of the majority of viewers.
You know that sort of ‘did that just really happen?’
Apparently it did because next day online I saw the carnage.
The distress, the sorrow, the anger.
From old and young and all the in-betweens.
We never expected the rain to be so far-reaching
Yet so singular in its grief.
This is a fictional drama,
And therefore has to be viewed
In this context.
We feel our viewers understand this.
It was unbelievable.
Even now I think I am only starting to understand
The human cost of this storyline.
I am talking about the rage at yet another lesbian storyline
Not only spun with such negativity
But kicked into touch.
Cheating on the “love of her life” –
I found that to be totally sickening.
Not to mention catching a bouquet,
Grinning like a Cheshire cat at the head of a line of dancers!
Crap crap crap!
They baited before the breakup
Laughed in faces with the episodes after.
Understand the rain better.
How the water holds emotion.
And has done for millennia.
How it feels the inner world…
As inside and outside. Fictional and real.
We are a group of almost 300 people
From across countries and time zones,
From across occupations and cultures and ages.
We are gay and straight and we have been drawn together
Because of our love of the story.
She wanted to have the story over.
I have sensed that for some time.
She said the response was overwhelming
That pretty much confirmed it for me.
I think it will help me to finally just say it.
High anxiety is better than boredom…
Once the build-up is over
And they stick them together
They have no idea what to do
With an actual relationship.
Drama needs drama…
To me this is nuts –
Am I alone in wanting some normalcy?
To see a real relationship blossom
And go through the usual ups and downs
That is reality
Is far more appealing to me
Than constant bed hopping
Is to feel some ability to respond
To the harm that has and is occurring.
I don’t really have anyone I feel like I can say it to.
The breakup is not the issue.
There was something about this pairing that drew me in.
We felt it in the water.
We touched it in the rain.
We felt it in our pain.
Yes, there we have it.
I am using the word harm
In speaking of the rain.
Here is where the fire has been.
What once was new
A group of figures
Stumbles through the land
For what couldn’t be.
I can’t even think about Berena
At the moment.
After 2 years of taking such joy.
My academic hat is less painful.
The sky is burnt.
The clouds are burnt.
The air itself is burnt.
She nods and shuffles off.
We have been conditioned to believe
That’s as deep as it goes.
The trees are burnt.
The ants are burnt.
The soil itself has burnt.
Like thinking my parents would be okay
Hers would be okay
The colleagues would be okay
HC would be okay to me
And all the others.
It just left a bitter aftertaste.
Bitter from now to hereafter.
Ever after the flames.
As a group, lesbians know all too well
That the relationship won’t work.
We have been conditioned to believe
There’s no Christmas like a Holby Christmas!
Charred and smoking ruins.
I’m full of false promise
I’m like a metaphor for Berena.
Nothing for miles to see.
We can have it all. We must believe.
I’m too old for this shit.
And somehow Holby assumed
We would all accept it and move on.
Enjoyment has been drained out of it for now.
A dark imprint in the charcoal ground.
Nobody expected the relationship to last forever
That’s not the point.
Not even as substantial as ghosts.
No thought to vulnerable fans.
I curl myself up
Into the vacuum that takes my shape.
It would be kinder
And more authentic
Not to pretend it’s positive.
This cannot be looked at
As an isolated event.
When the first feeling
That comes over you is,
They want us to die.
And sink and contract.
To a small, hard point.
Then I lose my sanity to a TV show.
Own the negative
Just as strongly as you
Owned and flaunted
I fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
Disappeared head first
Down the rabbit hole
That was Berena.
Another day dawns.
In the place there is no sun.
No fire anymore.
I crawl from this place
On all fours.
Smelling the raw
These scars explain me.
Embrace me in the dark.
Hold me close.
The unacceptable mark
Of searing pain.
Been, gone and here again.
But Know this.
I will always find the freedom to rise again.