Extraordinary Rendition, by Judith Trustman

[after Stevie Smith]


the flame of his mind flickers, dull
recognition still burning
……the faces
……the noises
……eating life out
of the bottom of the bag
where the shit lies
he tries to sit still they told him this
is where the flies don’t come
some day he knows he’ll fly
through a place with no name
like a man with no name

shame hangs like a cloud, dull
as the minds claiming sovereign powers
over our sovereign powers
……wreathing the airports
……the runways
a flicker of light is an orange suit
which might arrest as an image
hold imagination hostage
we only know there was a waving through
extraordinary as it may seem

this, my rendition of these events
is an attempt to say it was not waving
but drowning
like a country with no name

Winter, by Judith Trustman

It is winter, my love,
And rain falls on you
Wind turns you inside out
But you are already out
Of your country
Out  there  in Calais
In Leros
In Syria
In Iraq
In Afghanistan
In our world
In our fields
Our minds and our hearts

It is winter, my love
Can we blank it out?
The mud and the wet
Searches for you
But no one else does
Under blankets
Under paper
Under fire
And you tell us that.

Underneath our joy
Your sad life
In winter


Judith Trustman has had poetry published in The North, The Interpreter’s House, Counsel Magazine, The Times and has been shortlisted for the Plough Prize, Short Category 2006.  She lives on the borders of Wales where she is a member of Border Poets.