I have no thoughts
I convey what is thought
I have no feet,
so I leave no footprint.
I have no hands,
so I do not act.
I have no body
Prick me, and I will not bleed.
They say that god is dead
That his palace in heaven is vacant.
That wind blows through empty rooms
And mice chew on velvet curtains.
I say that god’s palace is occupied.
Its rooms are full, its curtains intact
It is occupied by reason, science,
It is occupied by me.
I rest on my canon.
My validity, my reliability, my rationale.
I consort with kings,
With prime ministers, presidents
They lend me their ears
They ask me what is true
What is valuable
And what is right.
They are eager to know.
The subjects of my research are not kings,
Or presidents, or angels.
The subjects of my research
Are gendered, ethnic, gay, disabled, poor.
They have bodies.
Entangled in the messiness of time and space,
Grounded in clay.
Prick them, and they bleed.
These bodies are fascinating to me
I wish to know every intimacy.
What does someone with your gender think?
What choices would someone in your ethnic group make?
How is your life impacted by poverty?
My view from nowhere
Pierces their somewhere.
I bestow voice upon them
I give them the gift of the word.
I represent them.
I work for social justice, peace and sustainability.
I turn their utterances into gold.
I have heard that there is another
She unsettles me
She (oh the arrogance)
Speaks only for herself.
She stands in the mud
And the clay
Of her positionality,
Of her bricolage.
Her participatory methodology.
Her new story
Her research journey.
She speaks of postcoloniality
She renders me an actor
In this world,
Gendered, embodied, classed.
She dares to colour me white.
I am sure that I don’t need
To start locking the gates of the palace at night.
What after all is there to fear?
What harm, what truth
Could possibly be held
Within the arms
This paper was presented as a Poem for the Ethical Debates of Representation in Research Conference : University of Cambridge -16 Nov 2018
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