This poem was written as a contribution to Sheffield’s Poetry-athon on 20th February 2017, a celebration of the contribution of migrants to our communities. You can read all the poems contributed here.
Let’s imagine our world,
Stopped still, without movement:
We all stay where we’ve come from;
No stranger turns up unexpected,
And we’re all trapped at home.
No Abel goes wandering with his herds,
King Cain reigns, planted in the ground.
And yes, some comfort can be found
In the same old gruel,
In the plain dishes of our youth.
Perhaps the Tower of Babel tempts us,
Ever rising skyward,
Still anchored in one place.
Here progress might be measured
By the backs upon which we climb.
Abraham will never leave,
Issac never marry
And Jacob never run away.
Our stories would run dry,
Our histories die out.
A world without movement ceases.
Hollow harmonies fall quiet.
Our world needs the traveller
To bring us something new,
To make our place a home.
We were all pushed out from Eden
To try and find a place on Earth:
To move, to build and welcome,
Strangers all, in alien lands.
For home comes only from the heart.