Desert Dust

Shifted from south of the Sahel
Disarmed by Sahara's unruly winds
Riding out the arid rolling waves
Heading north on the Scirocco
Slipping through the wires at Ceuta
Negotiating the Med, island by island
Crossing France, fence by fence
Sleeping by day in shallow ditches
Embarking from Blériot Plage to Blighty
Where your humble lives are valued
As grains of sand


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Sixteen prompt: write a curtal sonnet. Ten lines tied up by a shorter eleventh, rather than a more conventional fourteen line sonnet.

Here, my curtal sonnet touches on the UK Government announcing a policy to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda where they will be placed in holding centres, rather than working with them on these shores to provide a safe haven. The UK was ranked the 5th wealthiest country in the world in 2020, according to Credit Suisse S.A.

The photograph shows the remains of a rubber dinghy washed up on the coast, the sort of fragile craft smugglers use to get people to England regardless of risk.

CLP 18/04/2020

on Ukraine xvi

Kyiv to Channel
you new Burghers of Calais
held by paper chains


n.b. UK Border Force, your first contact with England; all forms – no compassion.

It is possible to see England’s famous White Cliffs of Dover from the French Coast. Refugees trying to reach family members in the UK are haunted by England’s proximity, taunted by British bureaucracy.

CLP 10/03/2022

on borders

ejected by North Sea
ragged rubber dingy beached
no sign of the crew


n.b. Who braved the waves on this through Storm Dudley, Storm Eunice, or Storm Franklin? Did they make dry land?

CLP 27/02/2022