Poem of the Week

A Time of Passage

We mostly come at night
 silent and secret
 through an unlocked gate,
 over walls, a gap in the fence,
 drawn towards the warmth
 and the low chant of machinery,
 tucking ourselves away
 anywhere we can find
 just enough space.

 We’ll leave at first light
 headed for some new life
 over the rainbow,
 squeezed, unnoticed,
 into the lost corners
 of other people’s stories.

 This is our future
 this is our hope
 this is the rest of our lives
 turned upside down, emptied,
 leaving nothing.
 We were doctors once
 or teachers, builders, carers,
 but now just survivors.

I’m not going to say much about this week’s offering. It’s new. It was a submission for Visual Verse that wasn’t selected and I’m making it my PotW because I’m not sure what else to do with it. I don’t think it’s competition standard – not on its own, anyway – so it doesn’t matter that it’s making an appearance here, but I like it and think it works even without the image that prompted it (which not all my Visual Verse poems do).

It’s also a good example of how I often like to embed little messages or secrets (easter eggs) into my poems. Sometimes they’re as obvious as an acrostic, or a clever word play, sometimes they might require a bit of luck to notice, and sometimes they’re so obscure hardly anyone is ever going to find them without help. I don’t put them in to be clever, I do it because it’s fun, and most of the time it makes no difference – either to me, or to the overall effect of he poem – whether readers find them or not.

But here I made it obvious, and I did it because for once the “hidden” message is more than just an easter egg. Here the words made from the letters highlighted in bold actually matter, because that’s what the poem is all about – stowaways and refugees; people hiding themselves away in order to escape one life and hopefully find a new one. They’re not supposed to be easy to find.

And in case you’re wondering, there are no other easter eggs in this one!