The Immigrant

Back from a week in France and posting again! I think this poem needs little explanation.


The immigrant adjusts his hat

Squints at the unfamiliar words

Tests the new land with his shoe

Some casual abuse

Is partly understood

The hat is wrong but not the shirt.

Wrapped in the now familiar streets and shops

Handling the hard language less well than he thinks

He seems to be at home

A diligent Roman

Following the new-found rules

But then a haunting tune, words said in drink,

Recall a half-remembered clouded place

That maybe never was

It’s hard to say

Easier to drive the thoughts away

Than enter that unbounded space.

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  1. Glad to see you back! Your poem describes how I feel on various occasions….the outsider:)

    • Interesting! I think being a strange outsider for two years plus in Kenya had a big effect on my ability to see this sort of thing.

  2. A lot of you poetry reads like great intros to longer stories I keep wishing you’d write. lol
    I really like this. Kinda want to know more about this guy with the wrong hat but perfect shirt.

    • Thanks, Hines. This guy was quite real to me: I think while I left his identity unspecified in the poem – though he isn’t a native English speaker (assuming the country he’s coming to is England, which it might not be) so presumably not, say, Jamaican or Anglo-South-African – I saw him as a middle-aged East European Jew, though Indian subcontinent would fit pretty well. I doubt if I have serious conventional novels in me, but I’ll mull over your comment. Thanks again.

  3. Great poem and I hope you had a wonderful trip Simon! I’m glad the visit has left you with poetic words and inspiration.

    • Thanks, Christy. I wrote this poem long before the trip – the blog is still catching up – but it was a marvelous trip and if you see the post on my other blog about the Eagle Owls, it’s pretty poetic, isn’t it?

  4. Yes, I like this one.


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