Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland
We rolled up on time, a sleepy huddle
of coffees and rucksacks
in Queen Street Station’s morning tangle.
A train then a boat then a bus took us West, under widening skies
to meet the sea. We
as we went, snoozing, swapping
names and food, showing
some of our colours: a skein
of travelling stories.
Across a larksung moor we threaded, a bobbing line
bearing drums and bagfuls of questions
How to stay strong? How to keep
growing and caring while working with pain
on a scale we can’t change?
a bell marks the tides, a garden grows
improbably, stuff gets done
despite no electricity, worries
in nests of knotted net.
It seemed we let loose into trust; uncoiled
the threads each carried until
we wove the days into delight.
It seemed we made words into tapestry: revealed
the patterns of strength, the tones of hope
that shine when stories and songs are shared.
It seemed we found no answers, but sealed
an unspoken pact to keep asking good
questions, and gather again.
left – back
on the moor, the road, the sea, the track towards high city windows,
But the tapestry grows in my head, its thread
long like the road to Camas, its weave
strong like the roots of a tree leafing out
in a crack between rocks.
You strengthen it too. Thank you.
* This poem was originally published in the Iona community magazine, Wild Goose, on the 29th May 2015.