July Member of the month – Vivian Yates


I come in search of shelter

From the ravages of life

Vivian Yates

Vivian Yates

If you had seen what I’ve seen
You would understand my plight

You say there is no room here
There are too many refugees
But stay and hear my story
What it feels like to be me

My country is in turmoil
Torn apart by civil war
The majority go hungry
While the few take more and more

The people have no say there
Corrupt leaders rule the land
hey tolerate no opponents
Deal with a brutal hand

Because I am a writer
I recorded what I saw
I wrote about those leaders
Taking profit from the war

They threw me into jail then
Racked my body and my mind
Exile or silence were my choices
Or death if I defied

It broke my heart to leave my homeland
Leave the people I hold dear
But we writers have a duty
Not to be silenced by our fear

And so I came to England
Where writers can be bold
For I cannot remain silent
The truth it must be told

Now you’ve heard my story
I trust you’ll understand
And I will find the sanctuary

I am seeking in your land


I know

You were a refugee
One of thousands who fled Nazi occupation
To seek sanctuary here
Your name was Stefan
And your Polish blood flows in my veins
I have at times been taken for a Slav

I know
You adored my mother, wished to marry her
And when she chose another
Whose future was secure
You chose never to see her again
Never to see me, your child, your only child

I know
You married an Englishwoman
Made England your home
And lived into your eighties as my mother did
And so I wonder how it might have been
Had your future looked so certain then


A few words about my writing

In my working life I was a linguist and a language teacher and I have loved words, spoken and written, all my life. I only started writing around twenty years ago, during a midlife crisis when writing poetry was more a release than an art! But once I realised I was serious about writing I was keen to hone my writing skills so I joined a writers group and went on a variety writing courses. Initially my poetry was intensely personal and designed to be read, but later I became more interested in performance poetry and started performing my poems to music, first to the flute (‘The Father I Never Met’), then the guitar, and most recently(‘Exiled Writer’) to djembe drumming.

I have been a member of Writers Without Borders for six years.


About predencia

Author of novels Dare to Love and Betrayed www.pennydixon.com poetry anthology Raw www.cymbalspublishing.co.uk and blogger www.writingcreativelywithspirit.com
This entry was posted in Member of the Month. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s