portsmouth poetry 

From A Borrowed Biro

Teaching English at Friendship House


Although he came from the mountains

(this much I learnt)


he didn't understand my words for snow


I fluttered my fingers

in front of him


but he only saw the wings of birds.


I led him to the window

wrapped myself in my arms


at the shivering sky  but he only stared.


It was slow and involved

the elimination


of sun, wind and rain but we got there.


Sometimes I think of him

back at the border


I imagine his mountains their fingers of shadow


the stutter of gunfire

the quietness of snow



Copyright Maggie Sawkins





December 2019


This poem is by local poet Maggie Sawkins, winner of 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. 


She is the founder of Tongues & Grooves in the Community and runs creative writing projects in and around Portsmouth.


The poem from Maggie's collection "The Zig Zag Woman" published by Two Ravens Press investigates the complexity of language and outlines the loss and pity of forced exile


There is a 
new poem by Maggie on
our Dylan Thomas Page