States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘The Children of Aleppo’ by Graham Kershaw

This morning I read of the nightwell,
filling mysteriously in our sleep,
disappearing by day, and it brought
to mind the gifts of Christmas, of starlight,
the open dark eyes of the children of Aleppo
on television the night before.

I dreamt of a family escaping through pines,
over the crest of a forest, young and old
struggling down to the shore of a great cold lake,
their only hope of escape; no boat was there,
but the strong might try to carry the old,
at least, if they cared enough

and it made me want to simply run away,
to escape the brain-ache of not doing
what we are best made to do, even knowing
our good fortune, knowing no gratitude
or peace of mind, no resting place for
a harried and haunted, half-buried mind

and then I read of the nightwell,
how it was said to fill mysteriously while we sleep,
then disappear by day, and it brought to mind
the gifts of Christmas, of starlight,
the children of Aleppo,
a family escaping ...

 

Graham Kershaw

Graham Kershaw

Graham Kershaw

Graham Kershaw is the author of novels, stories, essays and poetry. Originally from England, he now lives in Denmark, on Western Australia’s south coast, where he practises as an architect and runs Hallowell Press, a small publishing project with a regional focus.