Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Magic Box

As is probably fairly obvious for readers of this blog, I quite like poetry. Creating it, more than reading it, actually. I have no idea whether any of the poetry I write is "good" by objective literary standards; but at least sometimes I find there are ideas, reflections and emotions which can be explored in poetry in ways that are impossible in prose. 

Almost all the poetry on my blog so far has been of my own composition, but today is a departure from that. During the St Chad's Summer School this year I had the privilege of sharing my love of playing with words and allowing them to delve deep into our human experience with two small groups of refugees and asylum seekers. Their English levels ranged from virtually none to virtually fluent .. and their life-experiences ranged far beyond anything I can possibly imagine.

I forgot to keep a copy of the results of the first session, but below is the collective effort of one Turkmen-Russian, two Syrians, one Sudanese, and an Eritrean one Friday morning in July ... with a little bit of help from a certain Kit Wright (google it if you want to see the original)

The Magic Box
(Inspired by Kit Wright’s Magic Box)
By Murad, Hamid, Nasradin, Adel and Fadi

I will put in the box
The fresh sea air blowing across the beach
The joyful sounds of splashing and laughter
The taste of salty sea water on the tip of my tongue

I will put in the box
My first innocent idea when I wake up in the morning sunlight
The glorious adventure of a wonderful childhood
The happy memory of the days of my past where there were no cloudy skies

I will put in the box
The journey to discover a world I have never seen before
The sound of new languages when I travel the world
A carnival atmosphere where everyone understands the language of dancing and music

I will put in the box
My first kiss, my first sadness, my first forgiveness, my first goodbye
A rainbow of emotions over which I fly with bird-like wings
A celebration of the memory of the first day of a new life

My box is fashioned from dreams becoming a new reality,
with smiles on the lid and laughter in the corners.
Its hinges are the innocent kisses of children.

I shall surf in my box
On the great high-rolling breakers of the wild Atlantic
Then wash ashore on a yellow beach
The colour of the sun.


  1. Brilliant! Well done to everyone who contributed to this lovely poem. I like the original and have enjoyed many different takes on it written by primary age pupils but I think this one absolutely tops all of them. What an achievement, thank you.