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
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.