Mixed emotions


This is the second in our series of reports and responses on our tenth anniversary conference, in which we chatted critically on the theme of happiness, youth work and wellbeing. In our first reflection from the conference, we shared Tony Taylor’s keynote talk, Happiness and well-being: Agendas of compliance and control? In this second response we are delighted to share the following poem / lyrics, written by youth worker and Newman student Mani Dosanjh, one of the conference participants.

Perhaps this kind of creative response challenge the idea of emotions as something reducible to a measurable indicator; or perhaps even to draw that conclusion from a poem is too simple an interpretation. In any case, thank you to Mani for sharing her lyrics; there is a rich tradition in youth work of exploring complex personal and political issues in creative ways, and perhaps this will inspire others to have a go at creative writing for themselves or with young people.

If you have anything you would like to share – artistic, ranty, chatty or whatever – in relation to the conference or any other theme, do get in touch with us at indefenceyw@gmail.com.

Mani would like to thank Recovery College, where she wrote the poem.

Mixed emotions – by Mani Dosanjh

Emotions, Emotions some causing commotion
Here’s us endlessly searching for a potion
Wondering if that is our only solution
For our minds and hearts, filled with pollution.


Voices are roaring, anger pouring
Eventually drowning, tears are falling
Feeling nothing but fear from people
thought you was so near and dear.


The flame inside starts burning
My stomach now stops churning
I can see things, slowly turning
Mixed emotions…Mixed Emotions


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