Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America  

Dedicated to you 

Where do I start from to reach my destination
Behind me, far behind, is what remained. A piece of my land, a history,
and a desire to die. I don’t here come to be hated. I come so that we may look deep into each other’s eyes and so that these eyes can say: I suffer – and you also suffer, seeing my pain. But no, if there is sadness, it will have to travel every path and, let’s hope, not return to those paths by which I’ve come.

Frontier closures
Don’t turn up unexpectedly and spoil my breakfast.
I beg you, don’t turn up when I’m at home watching TV.
Don’t turn up when I’m sleeping.
No, really – don’t come. I’ve a glass of wine to enjoy.

Forty were the fears
Fifty thousand the cost of the journey
One hundred thousand the agonies of leaving it all behind
I haven’t slept today. My visa – perhaps tomorrow. If there’s any kind heart that looks on me.

Customs post
Over there, where I always hid my arms with my embraces.
Over there, where I always smelled the scent of that skin coloured by pain.
Over there, where one goes green again, with the freshness of the great spring of water.
That is the direction in which the gleaming dawn carries you.
That is where those hopes and those emotions lie.
Let’s be silent now, but without forgetting that there’s a customs post to pass, papers to show, questions to be answered, a policeman to obey.
Standing there, bemused and breathless, I feel a part of my dignity slip away – and no-one understands.

Everyone to the Dungavel detention centre
Everyone give me their names
Everyone give me their hands for checking
Children over there, the others over here.
I wish you all a pleasant stay in Scotland.

In exchange, I’ll give you a space in the trunk
In exchange, I’ll give you work
In exchange, you’ll help your family
In exchange, I’ll make you happy
In exchange, I’ll give you life, if you give me yours
The room is cold
The room has no windows
The room has an intolerable smell
The room has nothing
The room is for me and for him: when he comes looking for me.


  Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America