Home Poetry Poetry: Paul Jeffcutt

Poetry: Paul Jeffcutt

“…poetry is a way of happening, a mouth”—W.H.Auden

Breakfast in Kutupalong* by Paul Jeffcutt

Half a dozen skinny kids 

squat around a tin pot 

preparing the rice ration,

their tiny earth-floored hut 

of bamboo and blue plastic sheet

shudders as the rains lash 

these cramped border hillsides

to rust-brown streams of ooze.

Down the waterlogged trail

our lorry stalls,

laden with sacks of rice

from an Atlantic island

no stranger to damp or want.

Mohammad guns the engine

and steadies a course

to the sea of ragged shelters.

A temporary camp in Bangladesh with a million Rohingya refugees. It is by far the biggest refugee camp in the world. The poem was written for Concern Worldwide.

Paul Jeffcutt has won thirty three awards for poetry in competitions in Ireland, the UK and the USA.  His new collection, ‘The Skylark’s Call’ is published by Dempsey & Windle (2020); his first collection, ‘Latch’, was with Lagan Press (2010). He is widely published in literary journals and anthologies.  Paul lives in Co Down, Northern Ireland. www.pauljeffcutt.net