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Friday, December 16, 2005
I'm feeling very happy today because my friend, beautifuldawn, a long-standing member of the Write to Life group at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, has started his own blog at u4uandme.

This is exactly what I had in mind when I began the Lots of Big Ideas blog back in April of this year. I wanted to encourage people like beautifuldawn to start telling their stories.

Right now, as we are hearing more and more about false confessions by 'terrorist' detainees who have been tortured; or apparently CIA sanctioned methods of torture; or
serious debate on Capitol Hill
about whether the torture of detainees should be allowed under law we really need to hear from people like beautifuldawn.

Beautifuldawn is a refugee and a survivor of torture. He is also a very gifted writer. Read him now.

A poem by Nnorom Azuonye

Thursday, December 08, 2005
(note found on a dead ex-fugitive)

If you say that we don’t want you here
breathing our air, adding colour to our lives
it shows that you do not understand us.
You must appreciate we are not accustomed
to hoodlums burning down our family homes,
parents beheaded by rebels before our eyes
or wives raped while we watch, then killed
so near us that we stand in pools of their blood.

These stories belong to film, you tell them well,
may wish to chase fortunes at Hollywood.

Come tomorrow we must place you on a plane
back to your own country, where your colour
won’t matter and the cold is not so bad.
No harm shall befall you there, we pray
not to realise you were telling the truth all along.
May angels cover you with their wings tonight,
for tomorrow we shall have one last tea,
English, at the London Heathrow.

- Nnorom Azuonye

"Bogus" is taken from The Bridge Selection by Nnorom Azuonye (Eastern Light, UK, 2005) ISBN 1-905126-46-8. You can hear Nnorum read from this collection at the Pamphlet Poetry Party and Fair at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh on December 14.