Where I Come From

Amir Darwish

The following poem is a part of the upcoming title “Strings of Love and Pain”, slated to be published in 2019 by Smokestack, England, and has been reproduced with the author’s permission. 

From the earth I come

To the earth I come

From the heart of Africa

From the kidneys of Asia

From India with spices I come

From a deep Amazonian forest

From a Tibetan meadow I come

From an ivory land

From far

From everywhere around me

From where there are trees, mountains, rivers and seas

From here, there, from everywhere

From the womb of the Mediterranean I come

From a mental scar

From closed borders

From a camp with a thousand tents

From shores with Alan[1] the Kurd I come

From a bullet wound

From the face of a lone child

From a single mother’s sigh

From a cut in an inflatable boat about to sink

From a bottle of water for fifty to share

From frozen snot in a toddler’s nose

From a tear on a father’s cheek

From a hungry stomach

From a graffiti that reads, “I was here once”

From another one a tree says “I love life”

From a missing limb

Like a human with everything I come to share the space.

[1] Alan Kurdi (Kurdish: Alan Kurdî‎), initially reported as Aylan Kurdi, was a three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnic background whose image made global headlines after he drowned on 2 September 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea during a cross-continental journey as an asylum seeker.


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Amir Darwish is a British Syrian poet and writer of Kurdish origin. He was born in Aleppo and later arrived in Britain as an asylum seeker in 2003. Amir completed an MA from Durham University before moving to London, where he currently lives & writes. He has published his work in the UK, USA, Pakistan, India, Finland, Turkey, and Mexico. He tweets at @darwish_amir.

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