Haiku: Calais Everyday

Photo by Louise Logan

Photo by Louise Logan

Cycle 1: Us

Every day here
we say will be the last one.
Maybe tomorrow.

Stones roll past Sarwan’s
tent flap. His eyes bear the pain
of 12,000 more.

Rommel sits alone.
He is never alone, he
is always alone

Zimarko carries
supplies to the school he builds
though he has no house

Mahmoud gives to me
his last remaining sugar
from his best glass jar.

Cycle 2: Mud

A single glove lies
beneath fresh mud. A hand
outstretched towards you

New rain makes fresh hell,
fresh wind brings newcomers
and blankets are scarce

A dim light flashes
from the Afghan club tonight –
ports in lonely storms

Cycle 3: Walls

If the doors stay closed
my family will die here.
The walls are weapons.

Inshallah in U
K, Inshallah we’ll meet on
Earth, as in heaven.

I hope that the dirt
on my feet, my hands, my hair
never leaves my mind.

Tampons can light fires
wet hair can wash hands clean
I can make you smile. 

If love were passports
this place would vanish forever
under its own weight.

Cycle 4: Bible

This God commands you,
love the stranger as yourself,
for you too once fled.

You gave me a drink,
you sheltered and fed angels
thinking they were men.

God is my refuge,
for in the lands of the earth
here I have found none.

Sarah Paterson is a 2nd year PhD candidate in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. She describes herself as: 'a New Zealander studying Scottish Literature and its relationship to politics during the 2014 independence referendum. Recently I volunteered at ‘The Jungle’, the refugee camp in Calais, France. These poems are inspired by my time there.