in her memory

Each month I attend a great event called A Pint of Poetry – think the name captures what happens. People turn up, read poems, and drink beer. This month we meet a few days before Refugee week and members of the local Red Cross will be coming along. With that in mind we were invited to write something. In one of those instant moments this is what I came up with. It draws on several stories but tries to articulate experiences of fear, memory, escape, arrival, and asylum.


What would it be

to forget the scenes

inscribed on scrolls in my mind?

Malleable pages

on which ink will not run

as quickly as I fled from

where I’d hid my head

beneath the bodies of the fallen.


A film,

not narrated,

the soundtrack

not evocative.

It will not sell in shops of convenience

but is instead recorded in the dead;

the silence of the obliterated.


This film show,

repeated in nocturnal hours

where the curtains part

as my eyelids close

where there is no escape

for those who scream,

fall, silent,


a portrait capturing bodies,

not souls, 

stripped of names and clothes.


To flee,

to leave,

to question,

to receive

the indignation of a guard,


 to understand what stops my mouth,

stammers my words,

like the hammers that broke

the minds of those

stoved in by merciless bastards

still unknown.




where I remember mum

who miles away lays still,

years on,

bleached by the sun

after all that was done.


For all that intrudes on mine,

how am I now in her memory?


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