The Power of Now

Taking stock of Stockton,
what do we think or feel?
A town that’s built on centuries
of brick and sail and steel;
a history of working,
of making, knowing how,
but what about the future,
what is Stockton making now?

And what about the people,
those that gather here today –
the makers and the doers,
the ones who find a way,
the thinkers and the carers,
the ones who give a damn,
we’re all in this together;
we are, you are, I am.

The ones who make a difference,
who try to understand,
not working just for wages,
but to lend a helping hand,
who want to make things better,
who want to make things fair,
who want to help the helpless,
who want to do their share.

The people power sector,
the agencies who try
to reach beyond survival,
do more than just get by,
who have a bigger vision
of how life ought to be,
and try to make it happen –
for without you
who would see the:
no hopers
try to copers
care givers
wrecked livers
drug takers
law breakers
tough laddos
poor saddos
new arrivers
ducking divers
lost kiddies
old biddies
sad loners
mean moaners
life-blood drainers
non-complainers
local weirdoes
and
total heroes

who constitute the public
which lives in Stockton’s care,
and lots of whom would suffer
if your agencies weren’t there.

So, here we are together,
and we’re celebrating how
the people power sector
is building Stockton, now;
we’re the thinkers and the carers,
we’re the ones who talk AND act,
and we’re all in this together;
that’s the challenge and the fact,
it’s a challenge, and a fact.

‘The Power of Now’ poem, by Rowena Sommerville TVA Director, was commissioned by Stockton Catalyst to open their annual conference in October 2013.

TVA is a participatory arts organisation, based in Middlesbrough and working across the Tees Valley, helping people change and improve their lives by taking part in the arts. TVA is a small organisation which makes a big impact in imaginative and unexpected ways.