A young poet writes a poem about family

A 12-year-old girl eating green apples sprinkled with chilli powder at home.
Young poet Maytal Noy likes eating green apples with chilli powder

Let me share a wonderful poem about family by Maytal Noy, aged 12. Why did she write it? She’s dancing and acting in “Love is Everything”, in the Fringe Festival 2021. In a couple of weeks she will read her family poem on the podcast How To Be Old, and talk about it.

You see, Maytal’s brother Amit has created an extraordinary show, Love is Everything. His collaborators and performers are—his mother, father and sister! They’re not trained performers: they’re family, and the show is all about this very family. It incorporates dance, text, and film. I was lucky enough to see a short preview of Love is Everything and I found it deeply moving. Apart from anything else, it’s just so rare for a young person to produce a work that focuses on warm, complex, unsentimental family love.

Maytal’s poem about her family features in the show and she delivers it with great panache. Here the words must stand alone. Enjoy them!

Book to see it at Te Whaea, Wellington, on 26–28 February. Love is Everything is one half of Accepdance, a double bill of live performance by Amit Noy and Otto Kosok, recipients of the 2021 Toi Pōneke Dance Residency.

Green apples with chilli powder

I am a hardworking chatterbox who likes eating green apples with chilli powder
I wonder how pea plants are so smart
And what it would be like to be a female octopus
I hear the wind gossiping to me
I see luminescent pigs sprouting angel wings and Nemo fish wearing rectangular glasses 
I want there to be no homeless people in the world and equality for all too
And a dog would be nice

My family is here, around me 
Hugging me with tight embraces
Impromptu musical interludes 
And suitcases of books 
My brother 
Always there 
Hugs me with joy and love 
I hug back 

Remembering times of curtseying to ballroom music 
Monologues to waltz 
Arabesques to opera
Now we practise faulty English accents
Dramatic musical theatre in the living room of an airbnb 

My ima
Alive with fire, bush, burning love 
We embrace 
Partners in crime forever 
Cheeky grins 
Playful glances 
Sneaking into 5 star hotels

My Aba 
A calm anemone swaying with the whispering breeze
Caressing his bald head 
Turquoise eyes enveloped in glasses 
Warm smile 

My Brother 
Lights up the room with his eyes aglow 
Excited, delighted at the thought of chocolate or epic fantasy 
We chatter 
Read thick fiction books 
And watch sitcoms 
Alive in love, joy and togetherness 

I feel the laughter of my family rebounding on walls, echoing back to me in waves of warmth and joy
And my Budgies boasting calls lingering in the warm heavy air
Mixing with my dad’s shouts, as he tries desperately to find me my lunchbox lid

I worry about poverty, stereotypes, unfairness, and corruption 
I am a hardworking chatterbox who likes eating green apples with chilli powder

I understand that cats are lactose intolerant 

I dream of becoming a mum

By Maytal Noy (c) 2021

3 thoughts on “A young poet writes a poem about family

  1. Anonymous says:

    An absolutely amazing piece of writing – straight from her heart and soul, a credit to all her family and a joy to all.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I can’t wait to see the show in 4 days time

  2. Loved the poem. Shall have to try green apples and chili powder. Chuckle….

%d bloggers like this: