Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)

Bringing together researchers, practitioners and policy makers working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland


For the first time
the daffodils do not bring
me cheerfulness,
their nodding yellow heads,
incongruent, stubborn,
sunshine at the wrong
end of winter.

It is war time.
The earth wrestles against
the seed corn.
The ploughed fields
may or may not see harvest.

There are old gun emplacements
on the cliff tops, looking
across the estuary to
the nuclear power plant.
Around their concrete bases
the same jaundiced flowers.
Spring’s heralds or signs of
our fear?

I do not know whether to fight
or to flee. I do not know if the
East wind will spread pollen
or freeze away the first hope of life.

On the borders of Europe they are
herding people into cages and sending them
back to the bombs.

On the borders of this field
there are daffodils, nodding away
as the bodies wash again, out to sea.

by Alison Phipps


Cover image ‘Daffodils’ by rocor licensed under CC BY 2.0


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This entry was posted on May 1, 2016 by in Personal reflections series and tagged , , , , .
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