Poems

In This Together?

‘In This Together?’, my collaboration with photographer Ahmad Rezai and artists: Zeinab Nourzehi (Refugees Art), Baqir Safari and Maisam Ali.

How our experiences of lockdown – fear, loneliness, disruption, life on pause – are the everyday reality for people seeking refuge. 

Funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.

STUCK – second in the poem film series:

FADE – final part of poetry video series:

Inside The Tent

I hope you never hear

cannons at the gate;

your home,

force-torn 

from under your feet.

I hope you never know

what’s it’s like on a boat;

the water

sinking in,

bailing with bare hands.

I hope you never see

the earth shake;

them tearing down the walls.

Witness

how utterly

away luck crawls.

Asylum

All my friends are waiting.

They try not to let it

eat them up.

This monster has no teeth,

but sucks life.

It doesn’t roar, but sighs.

Drowning birdsong

their children’s laughter,

all the sounds

that keep you sane.

They make the monster

a box to live in –

– make it as comfortable

as they can.

It doesn’t kill them outright.

Doesn’t call itself a monster.

Doesn’t call itself anything.

I Am Not Your Refugee

‘I would rather follow the plow as thrall to another man,
one with no land allotted him and not much to live on,
than be a king over all the perished dead.’

― Homer, The Odyssey

He lights the candles and rolls a cigarette.

‘What can I tell you?’ he says.

How heavy words are,

measuring people into stories,

weighing them out.

Refugees,

that word to bind

an infinity of loves and hates

and everything in-between.

The same way you hold your lover,

or your child.

All your hopes and fears –

the same way it’s different.

A bird sits on his shoulders,

digs its claws in,

and he hunches over his cigarette.

In the months ahead,

even when we’re laughing,

the bird hovers,

scratching til he goes numb.

Illegal

Illegal – runner up, Doolin Writers’ Weekend 2019

calais

Spoken-word collab w/ An Galar Dub: