Minor Migration Anthology

By Alun Robert


Longing For Home

Marooned in Manhattan alone
in ghettos oozing with immigrants
from Europe, from Africa
escaping famine and destruction
to my new life in construction
of skyscrapers and mass transit
for a pocket full of silver dollars
engrossed within dark shadows
as the world passes me by at
an indeterminate pace. Fumes
pungent, effluent rancid
while dealers reek of duplicity
en route to Wall and Pine,
to William and Broad
all shuffling and pushing
in a world they monopolise
as I gaze out to Ellis Island
across debris infested Hudson
estuary, flowing both ways,
and shed a tear for home. Sure
I can feed, I can sleep
with a roof over my head
in a room with conveniences,
without anything I recognise
while next door exists my kin
from Dingle to Dundalk
with nothing in common,
everyone intemperate. Yet
thousands of miles east
amongst the verdant from rain,
those left behind consume
my melancholy moments. Home
that I romanticise, embellish
with memories contorted
until I regurgitate why I left
with anticipation and longing:
an egregious lack of judgment
for I perch here morose,
marooned in Manhattan alone
in ghettos oozing with immigrants.

Between 1820 and 1930, approximately 4.5 million Irish arrived in the USA


Indophobia 1972

Idi Amin despised us.
Gave us 90 days notice
to pack only modest belongings
for exiting Uganda. Leaving
our property and business,
employing locals in profusion,
built up since our arrival
from once colonial India.
We headed for England.
Apprehensive, worried
about the weather and welcome
on exiting Uganda. Arriving
without property or business
but shrewd acumen in profusion,
new build in our minds on
migration to alien Britain.

In 1972, Idi Amin expelled almost 60 000 Asians, mostly Indian, from Uganda


The Journey From Aleppo

He stands alone petrified
transfixed to the spot
with wet pebbles reflecting
    life as it is.
Lost sisters on the crossing
    one to a teamster
his Mom to the Med
    did not see her go
his Papa to gunfire in
    blood-soaked streets of Aleppo.
Lost his voice to the trauma
his sneakers to a thief
his identity to diaspora
his history amongst craters.
Left his heart back home
with his innocence
with his youth
with paternal grandparents
    who cried
    for they adored him.
Now looks across the horizon
to the west, Asia Minor
to uncertainty
to insecurity
    at least he is alive.
But memories will not abate
just the pain
just the sorrow
just the injustice of justice
    to the weak
    to the vulnerable.
Ahead verdant slopes of freedom
fresh air
fresh start
welcoming reception
    but for how long?

Turkey hosts circa 4 million refugees from Syria


Whooper Swans Off

Leaves ooze from ravaged vegetation.
Snowdrops and daffodils carpet en masse.
Meadows rich of verdant shrubs.
Blossom masks branches, again.
Stomachs full, energy levels high,
leucistic coats glisten in spring sunlight.
Loud whooping and deep honking.
Excitement throughout our ranks
singing kloo-kloo-kloo as an operatic diva.
Cumuli hangs like dollops of Chantilly.
Wind whispers from Drongawn Lough.
We are ready for our migration north.
A thousand kilometers or more, I recall
from last year and those before
and parables of predecessors. But
no satnav, no giro, no map etched into vellum
though our freeway stretches far with
carriageways engrained into our psyche.
Sprinting at full tilt, we flap up tornados.
Head bobbing ahead of our family group.
Suddenly we are airborne, suddenly high
soaring above Dunree Fort tilting
much like Concorde at take off. Gone
from temperate Donegal off
across hostile North Atlantic
to Icelandic fjords under aurora borealis.
Farewell winter shelter, we will return next fall.

Whooper swans commonly winter in Ireland before migrating to Iceland for summer


My Plea On Migration

Without my knowledge
my data was migrated (again)
from some obscure platform to another,
according to an email
received after the event.
But my data was corrupted.
I had no access for days.
The techie I telephoned
ran me round in circles
like a greyhound at the track.
As a creature of habit
I seek stability.
Would still be in the dark ages
(ergo the turn of the millennium)
if only boffins would listen.
But now I am lost
in the conundrum of computing
where anoraks prosper
while neanderthals, such as I,
ponder ad nauseum.
Give me back decision making.
Disassemble auto-correct.
Make icons meaningful.
Have the whole shenanigans friendly
to grey hairs and blue rinses.
Return my computing to
the concept of cars – I
drive it, fill it up,
have it serviced each year
but do little else.
But they should never claim
systems data migration has no impact
upon the end user for
if it is to our benefit
then take us two decades back.

Sources claim that 40% of data migration projects

are over time, over budget or have failed entirely