Refugees by Brian Bilston
Brian Bilston will be known to many who frequent Instagram and Twitter.
Each day he present a poem or sometimes just a verse, often entertaining and witty. Sometimes pithy. Always with something to say about the human condition.
As well as poems online, he has also published a number of books ; collections of his social media offerings and others.
His first poetry book was entitled, You took the last bus home.
the last bus home
i still don’t know
how you got it through the door
but you’re always doing amazing stuff
like the time
when you caught that train
Since then he has written a novel Diary of a Somebody (Picador, 2019) was shortlisted for the Costa first novel award. He has also published a collection of football poetry, 50 Ways to Score a Goal (Macmillan, 2021), and his acclaimed poem Refugees (Palazzo, 2019) has been made into an illustrated book for children. A new collection, Days Like These, which features a poem for every day of the year, will be published later this month.
He is described by some as the unofficial Poet Laureat of Twitter. With over 350,000 followers that is a worthy title. He is also a bit reclusive. He is clouded in the pipe smoke of mystery though unless he has several disguises, he is currently open to discovery as he tours bookshops and venues reading his poetry. He is said to have a thing about tank tops, loves Vimto, and isn’t all that keen on Jeremy Clarkson.
(* Vimto is a strange and popular drink which is bottled in the Manchester area. Hard to describe its taste but for North Easterners and Scots folk, it is nothing like Irn Bru)
My point about introducing his poem to you is partly because without his zany poetry I’m sure your life may be a touch diminished but mainly, because he has a message we need to hear.
His Poem Refugees is, to my mind, something profound and powerful on the subject and I print it below with just a thought: So often we can get things the wrong way round and our judgements are flawed as a result.
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
Now read it from top to bottom
poem is (c) copyright, Brian Bilston.