Refuge is a Taxi

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My poem ‘Refuge is a Taxi’ was recently included in a Patrician Press anthology entitled ‘Refugees and Peacekeepers’. Thanks to Amazon’s ‘Look inside’ facility, you can read my poem in its entirety here, immediately after Anna Johnson’s introduction.

It was inspired by a real person — someone who ran away from the horrors of war to start fresh in the UK. The media often casts refugees in a negative light, but I hope this poem will help in a small, positive way to redress the balance.

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The Gift.

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The Gift

His back bowed by the world’s weight.
His neck sore from holding up a weary head.
His eyes, red-rimmed, rubbed raw,
through dust clouds kicked up by bustling crowds.

‘Spare some change?’ he mumbles past chapped lips
as people rush by, embarrassed to see
a fellow being reduced to this.

A dull gold coin thuds into
his thin plastic cup.
He plucks it out with gnarled fingers
and rubs it in rough palms.

Up and down.
Up and down.

A small boy stops, wide-eyed,
watching in the moment before his
mother pulls him away.

The beggar winks and grins
then opens his hands
prayer-book style,
to reveal a vermilion butterfly.

The insect opens and closes its wings
twice, before fluttering up into the
grey city sky.
Man and boy watch
its bittersweet gift to humanity,
with hope singing in their hearts.

Pen Avey 2017monarch-butterfly-27320476