Poetry: A thought for Calais

I wrote this whilst on my year abroad in Normandy. Writing gave me a channel; I was able to escape my thoughts of home and just think. This poem was inspired by the Calais Migrant Solidarity website and was awarded the top prize for the French Human Rights League Poetry competition in June 2013.

Hidden in the sleeve

Down in the earth

Close to the ground

Cold breath of night,

Our bodies surround.

Dark faces watch

The stars that shoot by,

Lit by hatred

They sparkle and cry.

Hearts that flutter

In the still of ice,

Are all that punctuate

A world of fright.

The stars burst in

And their flames burst,

White faces reflect black –

Those who are cursed.

Light consumes dark

Pulls them from ground.

The faces of the law

That good may surround.

Darkness is masked,

The bodies are thrown

Back into the night,

Far from their home.

Caché dans la Manche

En bas dans la terre,

Près du sol glacé

Le souffle froid de la nuit

Entoure les corps cassés.

Des visages noirs regardent

Les étoiles qui s’enfuient

Éclairées par la haine

Elles brillent et crient.

Des cœurs qui voltigent

Dans le silence de glace

Sont tout ce qui ponctue

Un monde d’effroi si vaste.

Les étoiles éclatent,

Et leurs flammes brulent, puis –

Des visages blancs reflètent

Ceux qui sont maudits.

La lumiere dévore l’ombre,

Et les éloigne de la terre.

Les visages de la loi

Que le bien pourrait envahir.

L’obscurité est masquée,

Des corps sont jetés,

Ils retournent dans la nuit

Loin de leur pays.

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