Amir Darwish

I left that table with three books, a tea glass dirty

An ashtray

The TV remote still lost somewhere between cushions


A wall with a mixture of rotten green broken yellow light

Small window into an empty street

A white tissue travels lonely in a windy ruined alley


I left a pregnant apple tree

A sink full of pans, has remnant of favourite dish from last night

My plate among them with a tulip


I left half a bottle of red wine near bed

Money notes wrinkled

A belt with broken buckle


The art work in the corridor

The man in it hand on cheek tearful eyes

The forest behind him huge as the memory it leaves behind

I left a tape player once a lover gifted me

The Kurdish singer Mohammed Sixo on it screams

Oh the land Oh the land


I left my school desk with my name engraved,

The teacher who lectures me every time I bring a poetry book

Instead of syllabus book


I left the old corner shop

With a debt book

That has my name


Left the new shoe yet to wear

The yellow laces I bought

To go with it


My mother who stops by the door signals “come food is ready”

I left a generous father who daily comes home with bags of figs, apples

And occasionally roast chicken in right hand


I left home.


This poem has been published in collaboration with Hikayetna – Stories from Syria, Hope, and Optimism For Refugees.

Featured artwork by Souad Kokashan interior architect and visual artist from Damascus, Syria, currently living in the city of Lelystad, the Netherlands.


Amir Darwish is a British Syrian poet and writer of Kurdish origin. He was born in Aleppo and later arrived in Britain as an asylum seeker in 2003. Amir completed an MA from Durham University before moving to London, where he currently lives & writes. He has published his work in the UK, USA, Pakistan, India, Finland, Turkey, and Mexico. He tweets at @darwish_amir.