Yesterday I took part in a Zoom meeting with some fellow poets from Bristol who belong to a group, the Lansdown Poets, who have been publishing together since 2008. Our theme was Asylum, and our pamphlet was to have been launched at a reading in Bristol but the event was postponed because of the pandemic. Hence the virtual event which was, I think, a great success, and we hope that we have raised awareness of Bristol Refugee Rights, a terrific local organisation and helped with donations to support their excellent work. I read a short poem Syria which is given below. It is not political and not polemical, but attempts to describe the almost incomprehensible magnitude of the disaster that has befallen that great country. My daughter-in-law, Rosa Farhang Holland, read a translation of the poem in Farsi. Alas I cannot reproduce the script here.
SYRIA bricks baked from the clay where dwellings once stood people too all around strewn with them tempest emptied syntax broken unsaid survivors buried the dead fled from their ruined country abandoned hope of time's gentle unfolding the loved fabric of custom the enactments of meaning placed their lives into the hands of strangers mislaid them for years though remembered