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Through My Window

As it's National Poetry Day we're sharing Through My Window. This poem was created through collaboration between Ignite Imaginations artists Genevieve Carver and Sile Sibanda, who worked together to create this beautiful piece of writing exploring the theme of "Through my window" reflecting upon migration stories in lockdown. Part of the online Migration Matters Festival 2020.

Through My Window

By Genevieve Carver and Sile Sibanda

Looking out the window

The sky looks like a postcard

A tropical Cocktail


She wore her best colours

Clouds dance across the sky,

It looks like they are having fun

Unable to join them,

I reminisce the times

I danced with my cousins in my grandma's farm after a hard day's work

Dancing became the only constant in my life

Moving country to country

Not knowing what will happen next

Outside my window, it’s quieter now

I can hear the cathedral bells sound

all the way from town.

The birds have reclaimed the airwaves

their pirate radio broadcast

bleeds in through the open window

of an Amazon delivery van

it gets under the driver’s mask

and makes her want to sing.

Uncharted land is waiting to be explored

Full of obedient trees

huddled together,

I can see the M1 from here, once an ant colony

Mother nature is healing again

Without car toxins

Being inhaled by her wild flowers

Their beauty a ripe mango

Rain scented air graces my nose with its presence

I stick my hand out so we can touch

Instantly, I'm a sweet potato in my grandma's garden

Waiting patiently for clouds to shower me with rain kisses

Outside my window plant life has carried on

It has not stood still like Beyonce song

Swallows pause on telegraph cables

filling the city with their dolphin-clicks

Saharan heat in their hollow bones,

feathers frayed from the long haul north.

The swifts arrive screaming

but the trees open their arms

and the blue tits do not ask them for their papers

while in the Jury’s Inn

a vagrant rests her head on polyester

and feels safe.

My neighbour's cat is tip toeing on our fence again,

Spying for an open window

After her midnight journey

At least she made it home today

Streets are empty of laughing children

Running for the ice-cream van

Curious teenagers searching for the nearest McDonalds

Couples walking their dogs

Aunties in their Pjs walking to the local shop

The atmosphere of sadness

makes me wonder

In Zimbabwe right now,

Do Pavements still have street sellers

Mothers holding 2 bags on one hand

Their children with the other hand,

weaving and dodging strangers on their way to the taxi rank.

There have been days

I’ve watched the world through glass

rolling past like a silent war film

nights I’ve lain awake, alert as a hawk

or slept in mid-air

like a swift on the wing

but today, the cuckoo is ringing in the spring

and for a moment I can forget

the way my neighbours guard their nests,

the shame I wear like a flag around my neck,

the numbers missing from news bulletins,

the promises splattered across the floor

like egg shells dropped from the roost.

A bee in my room

keeps flying into my window,

The illusion of a promised land ahead

Full of lilies, daffodils

All the roses he could ever want

Makes him accept pain today.

I want to guide him

"Take a step back"

"let me help you"

I may not understand your BEEness

I do understand

Seeing everything you want ahead

But not being able to reach it

Grabbing the nearest paper

I show him the way out

I hope he reaches his promised land.

I crack open my window

to after-rain air, the willow warbler’s chorus,

a bee in a glint of light, legs thick with pollen.

I shake the dust from my own sore limbs,

clear my throat of desert sand and blood.

I dial a contact in my phone for the first time

and connect with someone new;

we harmonize across frequencies and histories,

two melodies mingle in a single song.

Perhaps one day, we’ll dance.


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