The Yo!Fest Poem

23 Jan 2019 | Calling for a fair share | by Matt Abbott

Pour a drink, take a sip and sit forwards.
There’s an awful lot to engage in.
From pixels and plastics to populist parties,
and the impact of the wars that we’re waging.

A discussion, with tomorrow at the forefront.
The youthful voice of Europe has its say.
Politics in human form: no soundbites or spreadsheets.
We’ll only fix tomorrow, if we start to build today.
When peace becomes a comfort zone, and tension starts to thrive,
dialogue will save us from the brink.
Black and white reminders from 1945,
but camps are at capacity, and boats still sink.
Flags and nationalities are something to be proud of:
we’re a patchwork quilt of characters and cultures.
But holding hands with neighbours is vital for survival,
or fascism will rise…followed by the vultures.

Temperamental temperatures; snowfall in spring;
bottle tops washing up on beaches.
Mother Nature’s wailing and it seems she’s been ignored,
but gradually we’re learning from the lessons that she teaches.
Our numbers might be swelling,
but so is our technology:
we might just turn the tide
if we’re conscious of ecology.

With algorithms calculating content;
from social feeds and streaming sites to ads.
We’re walking on a tightrope of curation and dictation:
with databases storing every chat we’ve ever had.
But technology cannot create itself.
And it keeps on smashing boundaries, from retail to health.
Potential unrivalled, but it must be used for good.
“Tech savvy” equals safety; far more than it should.

All people are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Quite often, your privilege is something you discover.
But to actively discriminate is the lowest of the low:
callous, inconsiderate, and toxic in its flow.
The world is rigged in favour of the rich.
1 in 10 in towers, the other 9 in a ditch.
Trillions lost in loopholes; taxes starving service.
But you only beat injustice when you scratch beneath the surface.

Our continent encompasses such vastly varied voices,
but we either sing in harmony, or the system will collapse.
You hardly get a carnival with paperwork and process,
but without the conversation, you start to find the gaps.
Fake news spreads knee-jerks like wildfire.
Populism dupes the disenfranchised.
Ignorance opposes integration.
Without unity, we leave warfare on standby.

So, pour a drink, take a sit, and sit forwards.
A discussion with tomorrow at the core.
Politics in human form: searching for solutions.
A festival for the future, and the Union we adore.