Wednesday, 18 December 2013

I am here

And following on from my previous post... Having struggled to put into words my experience of St Chad's Sanctuary, I wondered if poetry might express it better. I don't know quite what I was aiming at, but it turned into this, written as if from the perspective of an asylum seeker. I'm not sure, really, I have the right to write from the perspective of an asylum seeker, after all, what would I know? But with that proviso, and in the hope that those who have lived the experience for real would understand that I hope to express something in support of them, not belittle their experiences, here it is:

I am here

And in amongst
The cold grey concrete
Is a silence
Which does not sing
Like the warm red dust
Of home

That offered hope
That does not seem
So golden as it looked
When glimpsed
From in amongst
My shattered
war torn

And will you look
And try to see
That I am me
Just me

Or will you turn
Your eyes away
From all I’ve lived
And loved
And lost

And will you hear
My children’s tears
For what they hoped
And dared to dream
That cannot be

Or will you turn
Your ears away
From faltered words
That cannot say
All I have brought
And wish to

And all is cold
So cold
As I stand hunched
Against harsh grey skies
And biting wind
And bitter, angry fear

You hold
A hand out to me
And speak
A whispered breath
Of warmth
And welcome

When you notice
That I
Just I
I am here


  1. I really like this Steph, thank you - should be compulsory reading for all those with power and influence!!

  2. Heartfelt words Steph. It sounds like you have truly listened to those you've been serving at St Chad's.