Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Juan Garrido-Salgado

Juan Garrido-Salgado, a former political prisoner in Chile, now lives in my home town of Adelaide. He came with his family to Australia from Chile under the Humanitarian Programme in 1990, fleeing from a regime which burned his poetry and imprisoned him for his political activism. Last year, he attended this city’s annual Writers’ Week Festival, where he heard Robert Fisk talking about his book "The Great War for Civilisation".

The following poem was the result:

Sonnet (Writers’ Week in Adelaide, 2006)

I am sitting in different shadows.
Chairs are the roots of trees,
the white tents a nest of words and creation.
I am listening to the sound and face of vowels.
Names and authors are beings of the image world.
Stories of lands, struggles, deaths,
beauty and ugliness an equal part of the journey.
Foreign sounds are rare birds under native trees.
A kookaburra sings to the wind and the heat of the evening.
Yahia Al-Samawy reads his poem in Arabic:
Leave my country.
The helmet of occupiers can never be a pigeon’s nest
I am listening to the rhythm of hearts next to a tree.
I am listening to Robert Fisk’s flesh,
wounded lines,
Baghdad and Gaza his home,
ancient cities without rivers,
only dried dreams of the oppressors.

1 comment:

haisanlu said...

good post.

I am having some fierce exchanges with a Russian Trotskyist at

He has just published some videos called Stalinism Reaction to Bolshevism. I have extensive comments on them all as hohxa - care to take a look !