Out On The World by Catriona Knapman

Out on the world, out on the gentle crater edge
there is a journey made by the curious, escaping the easily convinced.
Out on the world, each station is a sort of progress,
a sort of regression, each traveller carrying a certain sort of privilege
which needs constant attending to.
Always untying; never untying.
Always all tied up.

Out on the world, we live like pieces of paper,
folded and unfolded, handed over, handed back,
eyes to the road and the uneven track.
Tell me everything you have forgotten, as you have unfolded.
Tell me everything you found in your suitcase and trunk.
Come now, tell me of your strangeness, tell me how it has grown?
As you unfold in that strangeness,
a new sort of home.


“This video poem was filmed in Yangon Railway Station in 2017. That was a more peaceful time in the city and sadly these images do not reflect the current situation in Myanmar. On 01.02.2021 the Myanmar military ceased power from the elected government. Since, people across the country have been protesting for democratic governance. Their peaceful protests have been met by violent repression and acts of brutality by the police and military. To this date over 500 civilians have lost their lives at the hands of the state security forces and over 2720 have been illegally detained. Streets in Myanmar today are not safe places for everyday citizens, like the images in this video show. I hope that one day soon they will be. Until then, our thoughts are with citizens for their ongoing fight for democracy.”


Catriona Knapman is a Scottish writer and human rights worker. Her writing has been published widely in journals, including Guernica, Magma, The Mekong Review, Vox Poetica, The Interpreter’s House and Gutter, among others. Her award winning, 4-star show spoken word show, Out On The World, debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016. She is part of the poetry collective ‘Women With Fierce Words’ and has recently completed her first novel. Connect with Catriona on Instagram @catrionaknapman. The text of ‘Out On The World’ was originally published by Kyoto Journal.