Poem 1.

March 29th, 2020 § 0 comments

I thought I’d lost this poem, and maybe I had. But luckily a hard copy was (perchance!) lying on the printer; so with great pain – and what else do I have to do these days? – I retyped it and I”m posting it to recall my days as PC4R admin.

Palm Sunday

Ahmed is messaging me stressing about his phone credit

And I’m stressing too, frying eggs and aubergine

At the same time.

Ahmed’s in Cosenza, good for him

His documents are OK, I’ve got his location

And number, but from his photo

It looks like he’s in a safe house. Can you show me a picture

Of where you sleep? Of the door? Of the outside? Keep an eye

On that slice of aubergine, it’ll burn. The admins don’t like the pic

though the house isn’t safe to Ahmed.

How long since he got fished up in Catania? and got his papers…

The NGO threw him out a week ago, now he stays with a friend

On the floor of a room (with a door). Coffee’s ready, drink it quickly.


If you go to Bethany, you’ll find a colt;

Say the lord has need of him. (Bethany, al-Azariya

Where they shot the girl Abir four years ago at a bus stop.)

Take the colt and bring it; I’ll ride to Jerusalem

Never mind the checkpoint, the people will shout

And the admins say

Ahmed’s borderline but just this time OK. Hosanna! Oh Sir thankyou please please

Can it be. quick

I need to call my mother in Raqqa


Lucky Marko the Eritrean, he’s in La Spezia;

Escaped across the desert, tortured in Libya; washed up in Lampedusa

Requested protection;

A minor, Dublin, can I translate his documents?

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord.

His sister’s in France, his guardian’s done the paperwork

He can catch the plane. But the Turkish army

Are planning to enter Sinjar , God’s gone west again

Three quarters destroyed already, two doctors left.  Millennia ago

These people worshipped peacocks.

You can bet the story’s nowhere near its end of endless

Heroes and heroines and butchers


So we listen and watch and share the human lives and deaths

As they cycle mindlessly for ever.

Do you believe? In what?


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