Songs of Praise
A man kneels on the earth floor
and prays to Gabriel for his life.
He is on the very edge of Europe.
Once we camped there
waiting for a ferry and the kids
dug holes with seaside spades
and all night the lighthouse beam
swept our canvas house.
The interviewer asks if it is right
to try to enter a country illegally
and the student priest replies
with courtesy that it is not
but what are we supposed to do?
First published in Morning Star
Shoe laces tie the dead tighter than life.
We raft on their skin, how can flesh float
when boats shatter, wood, ribs and bone.
Hamid, swollen brother, hollow gourd,
the salted body of you drifts, whitens tears.
My hands are cups of waves and piss
and all the sky hangs grey as glass.
I never knew the baby’s name. Gaza, Syria.
Her eyes are closed, turtle, fish.
Reception conditions for the refugees in Calais are worsening and there is an increasing death toll of refugees attempting to cross the channel from Calais to Dover. People are getting together all over the UK to send basic aid, that is not being provided in the holding camp in Calais. Writers are in the unique position to be able to express their concerns about the situation that the state does not seem to share.
Writers for Calais Refugees is an anthology in support of people seeking refuge.
The anthology is now closed for submissions. Thank you for your continued support and to all the writers that have sent their fantastic responses in, it’s been amazing. Please spread the word and keep checking in to see the two poets featured every day! I hope you agree the standard has been very high and that the writers have been putting into words your feelings about the plight of the refugees.