4 AM in the Morning

I saw my dad was on my mom
and my mom said
Go to the office.

My dad was hitting her
and when my dad left
he took my phone.

His friend
was blocking the stairs.
His friend’s name is James

and my dad kicked my mom
and he told me
to go in my room.

But I went to go get
my mom’s friend
who lives in our back house.

My dad knocked on my door
to the patio and I opened it
and he came in

and told me
to close the door
to the family room.

Then I heard yelling
and I came out
and my dad was hitting my mom.

It happened
at 4 am
in the morning.

(Floyd Mayweather’s young son, Karoun, in a police report September 2010. Submitted by Richard King Perkins II)

I would rather work in mill than in pit

I hurry in the clothes I’ve now got on,
trousers and ragged jacket; the bald place
upon my head made by thrusting the corves;
my legs have never swelled, but sisters’ did
when they went to mill; I hurry the corves
a mile and more under ground and back;
they weigh three hundredweight; I hurry
eleven a-day; I wear a belt and chain
at the workings to get the corves out;
the getters that I work for are naked
except their caps; they pull off all their clothes;
I see them at work when I go up; sometimes
they beat me, if I am not quick enough,
with their hands; they strike me upon my back;
the boys take liberties with me sometimes,
pull me about; I am the only girl
in the pit; there are about twenty boys
and fifteen men; all the men are naked;
I would rather work in mill than in pit.

(17-year-old Patience Kershaw’s account of working in a Halifax coal pit, from Facts and Figures, May 1842)

The Shape of Our Rage

Gradually men rise up to confront them.
One of the bravest is
a teenage hairdresser’s apprentice.

Vidal Sassoon, the man who gave us
the Five Point Cut, the Asymmetric Bob
and Mia Farrow’s £2,500 haircut

was a street-fighting man.
“That popinjay Mosley.
Fascists preaching hate on every corner.

The same abuse that I remembered
from the 1930s,
I was too young to do anything about it.

The pictures we were seeing
from Auschwitz and Buchenwald and Dachau
changed the shape of our rage.

I went to work at the salon in Mayfair
with a badly scratched face
and this refined client said

Good God, Vidal, you look terrible.
What happened to you?
Nothing much, I said. I just fell over a hairpin.”

(From an Anti-Fascists Online report following the death of Vidal Sassoon. Submitted by Jo Bell)

Human scale

Houses are mostly arranged in
‘blocks’, with boundary walls
to streets, lanes and courts.

There are no large front gardens,
and the heights of the houses vary.
The resulting width of the streets

is narrower – though the ratio of
building height to street width is
not much different than elsewhere.

More in keeping with traditional
towns and villages of the area.
More in keeping with a human scale.

Taken from a UK property developer’s design specification document. Submitted by Mark Antony Owen.

Harry Has Uses

Harry is developing good control
of his pencil movements. He is working
on counting up and back in steps of twos
and tens. Harry enjoys spending time on
investigative sites on the computer
and is competent on the internet.

He likes to use clay and box modelling
to interpret his ideas. Harry
has developed a good understanding
of the past, present and future,
exploring texts that relate to his topic
work. He has been keen to spend time on
developing the role-play area
into a bakery, resulting in
him producing some very good price lists.

Harry is one of a very few children
who have mastered the ropes in gymnastics.
He is now developing his target
skills. He has uses his imagination
well in his investigations.

Excerpts from my eldest child’s first ever proper school report. He’s five. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.