/ March 24, 2019/ #BerenaDeservedBetter/ 0 comments

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.

So dramatic.

Let it go.  So one dies

One cheats, the relationship 

Post consummation goes dark.

So what?  

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

Maybe not

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

They’re hurting

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?

What’s happening?

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.

Chapter 2

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

So ubiquitous.

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

Death and 

Accentuated drama!

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.

Part III

Here is where the fire has been.

Razed through

What once was new 

And green.

A group of figures 

Stumbles through the land

Scape goats

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.

Burnt offering.

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.

The viewers.

Not even as substantial as ghosts.

No thought to vulnerable fans.

I curl myself up 

Into the vacuum that takes my shape.

And sink.

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,

Oh, that…

Very much

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

The praise.

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


Beneath paws.

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.

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