I left my students to their holidays and met my educational friends at the station
We three lecturers!
And we’re setting off on a hunch, having consulted the foreign office, a refugee story
There could be a book in it, a slot on the Today programme
I suppose I’m in vogue. I mean, one doesn’t wish to be a media darling – absolute bloody nightmare!
But they like my wry take on affairs, a puff for my ego and it pays nicely
So here we are at the station, smart casual, some denim for the Middle-East, three lecturers joshing
Though looking back across the years, I don’t remember many of our words that day. Our measured gags, our measured views – it’s what we did, we measured, we assessed
And there won’t be a book in it, just supposing you’re asking. I can say that for sure, I haven’t the words
And my God – that was a surprise! For I always had the words, I thought you could write everything
I know now you can write nothing
I can write my address perhaps, but even dismal lecture notes I struggle with now, some tired information exchange
And no joshing between us at the airport on our return, (we returned by another way, warned of trouble) – and the silence was somewhat awkward for the Three Kings of Wry!
We don’t speak with each other of what we have seen…wise men share thoughts and run from feelings, it seems
And I’m not a spiritual man, the word irritates me –
But I have never before wished to give all I have to a mother and child
(am I even writing this?!)
I gave gold – a bracelet given me by some rich aunt, it slipped easily from my wrist, I laid it in the hay. It seemed cheap, tawdry
Though the mother smiled and according to our translator, said ‘Ponder these things in your heart.’
And if you ask me what I learned from that journey, I shall say I don’t know, for I arrived with more – and famous for my more, never short of a word
But left with less…a less that still haunts me
Like a building consumed by fire, like my home burned to the ground…I sift through the ashes
And somehow feel free