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You Never Arrived, a Poem by Des Mannay

Photo by Greg Bulla

Avoid the trap

Of vengeance

Of turning on us

When Terrorists massacre kids

We ran away from men who plant bombs,

Wield guns - demand absolute power,

They are our enemies too

That is why we are here

If I had not left Syria I would have died

But if I stay in "the jungle" over winter I could die too

In a donated tent

Easy tinder for a tarpaulin Kristallnacht

Bonfires of hatred

We came to Europe to find the land of human rights

Instead we are left here in this camp

Even asylum seekers

If we could get a proper roof over our heads we would stay

There is no solution

Here in this hell hole

We must escape from this place

But higher fences and more cops

Make it harder to leave

The borders are too strong

Death returns -

A Syrian run over on the motorway

In front of her son

An Afghan boy hit by a train

I join the protests on the roundabout -

"Open the borders!"

My friend lives in hope

He'll make it to Britain

Has relatives there

Others pray for salvation

I will no longer pray for myself.....

I've seen pictures in the newspapers which visitors bring

Of dead babies washed up on the shore

I fall on my knees

Prostrate myself and pray for those who never arrived


Des Mannay is a Welsh writer of color. First poetry collection, "Sod ’em – and tomorrow" published by Waterloo Press. Co-editor of The Angry Manifesto poetry journal. Winner -'rethinkyourmind' poetry competition (2015), LIT-UP poetry competition (2019). 2nd/ highly commended - Disability Arts Cymru poetry Competition (2015). 'Gold Award' - Creative Futures Literary Awards (2015). Shortlisted in 7 competitions, and published in various poetry journals. Work in 26 poetry anthologies.


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