Not Being Allowed In… poet slumps outside ‘perimeter’

Hampden Park Stadium & the crowds are flowing fast and thick – it is quite a testament to the folk putting this whole day together that a epic flow of steady tidal humanity was able to pass through the queue barriers, and into the security check point without huge lines of silent impatience trailing around corners and up a hill.

I stood and watched for an hour as people walked steadily from Mount Florida station -up a hill and down a hill and around a corner, and made it past the dancing volunteers and the Venue reds, through the queue barriers as they were directed, past the police holding machine guns, and into the line up for security without stopping.

Not being allowed to work with those queues, the ones where folk do actually line up, are still and waiting for any length of time – the trailing line for security – is a constant frustration. I appreciate everyone is doing their job and poets reducing queue-induced tension are not high on the priority list. So this little film has moments of blazing exchange with punters, but a whole lot of people passing by – while I stood feeling futile. I wasn’t even allowed into the actual queue barrier lines before the airport style check point – but at least there was an ease of entrance and everyone getting in without grumble.

The megaphone man shared his few lines of Burns for us. The volunteers were dancing to ‘Happy’ spun on their amp.

We moved on to other venues in the city- the SECC & Kelvingrove where we met the bowls queue. I find it fascinating the tiny time it takes to share a smile and a poem and hear someone else’s thoughts. Always, it is “is that yours?'” or “did you write that?”, surprise now that the caution has been ditched by dialogue.

Quite a few today said no to poetry, which is ok- I’ll just move on, but what surprised me was the response from the street statue as I offered him a little poetry ticket while on his smoking break – “I hate poets”.


Fair enough.

Maybe he’d found the perfect job where he didn’t have to talk to anyone all day but felt everyone’s gaze fall on him

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Sydney Morning Herald includes this quest in their reporting!

Poet Skye Loneragan waxes lyrical to keep Games queues entertained

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I am chuffed that reporting on the Games can include a usually marginalised art-form, and that those marginalised can be spoken about- but really what I was trying to say about Curiosity is that I believe in it as a kind of currency (value & exchange), and that this is my response to the fact that there rarely is a common wealth.

What I went on to say about acknowledging our history in Australia is that I’ve experienced a deeply disturbing ‘lemon-ink’ apartheid, that we must respond to what is, and simply more often acknowledge what was, (our genocidal origins)… that there is such huge sorrow but also such gumption – I tried to speak about this in the poem CONTRAST II,


Grumbling group and a moment to feel the tension slacken




Puffing up a steep incline toward Cathkin Braes Mountain Biking….a barrier is collecting a grumbling group – there is confusion as to where those with tickets and those without go….simply to distract while we waited to be told I shared I WON, I – ONE – and wondered….when all are up against it trying to do their job, when the police and the stewards don’t know what to tell people, when you get to the top of a hill to be told to go back down….

where is the worth in working where people already have their purpose? it is those moments in which our ambition is halted, where we are made to wait, where we are confused as to where we should be to best get what we want…that we need to be lifted.

watch them ride past, these bikes – fat tyres and fast


Draping poetry over the queue barriers – Day 6 MON July 28th

At the Tollcross International Swimming Pool, in Glasgow, a very relaxed atmosphere in the adjacent rose garden despite the almighty snaking queue system complete with shiny new barriers glinting in the sun.

THE SUN!!!???? again, here in Glasgow we have had sun.

Our permissions as roving poets limited us to the areas OUTSIDE of the queue barriers where folk lined up for security, so we found ourselves looking in at those waiting and draping ourselves over a queue barrier. Not the most ideal situation for a non-intrusive dialogue – but smiles still surfaced. 

One gentleman on a bench told me he hated poets, they are all “smart” – but after granting me permission, and smiling at mine, he shared his own few lines he’d learnt by heart.

Another in-security queue cluster had told me about a situation where someone had to leave a long distance, Sydney-based relationship – and I shared the poem, “Rushcutters Bay, or I Can’t Decide” and the line

“Moored like these yachts

in obedient patience

I consider our trembling marriage”

It made me think of the few precious platitudes from Dr Seuss I cling to:

“When things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew

Just go right along, you’ll start happening too…”

And speaking of queue clusters, it is an odd thing to be doing a funded project aimed at reducing queue-induced stress where Glasgow2014 doesn’t want us working within the most obvious long line-ups: the security bag and tag airport-style queues.

We’ve done porta-loo queues, Box Office at St George’s square queues, queues at tube stations, queues that curl around a park, queues that reach critical mass at SECC before flowing in en masse, queues that stretch the streets… there are no shortage of options, but the organisers in Glasgow have been very efficient with their queues, bless ’em – most people are on the move!

“This is my function here today” – Ibrox Day 5 SUN @ Comm Games

Sunday, in-queue– what if my national identity sells out? Flags flapping, helpers and hi-five, (take a look at the absolute resilience of this volunteer!)

We had a happy b-day in-queue, where as they waited, the whole of Copland St joined in to sing, Happy Birthday! I gave him a birthday present of a poem that could move with them. If not move them.

Lovely to actually be asked by someone next in line to please share another.


And to actually share


“it disappears this muscle clutch 

in a grinding muffled roar

an elastic snap second

a blink-less swallow…

your rising determination

thrusts me back

till I’m swinging

nestled in your hooked elbow

egg-cold and tightly stitched

brushing your heaving chest

till I’m spinning

seed-giddy, through a held breath

hurtling between seven intentions

knocking teeth loose in a tackle

at a rugby sevens line up.

Where do you think they are from? Stewart asks, of those wearing a green and gold t-shirt, boasting AUSSIE, carrying an inflatable kangaroo & clutching a curling colonial flag. Maybe there is something in a stereotype because we bonded rather quickly, and I shared the poem about the sea and Sydney-

“the bridge yawns gracefully above

houselights huddle on a stolen headland

camped conversations silenced by distance

and the inky black spill of still ocean

the water is a kiss or a slap 

against the city’s concrete rim–

I can’t decide”

We cut quickly to political agitation. The Brits were the first boat people to land on Australia, ah, “she knows our history” one of them chimed in. Lets not in Britain suffer from the same amnesia that Australia does when it comes to what actually happened to get us where we are today. Empire was, and did, and settlement wasn’t really so much that as invasion, and where I come from I’m not considered Indigenous and the first people were not the first to suffer a near genocide, and there is today a Commonwealth of nations in which there is rarely (each of us) a common wealth.

Wow, what a day! Despite the slight dribble of rain, the wind blowing my poncho into a portable ‘poet’ bubble, and the tube station hold ups, (long lovely queues) – there were smiles and spectator glee.