Friday, 1 January 2010

MY FIRST LANGUAGE- Eric Ngalle Charles

Oil and water
Never blend-
One stands up,
One beneath.

"Like a gorilla
And a monkey
Claiming oneness,"-
Look closer-
" The monkey is monkey
And the gorilla gorilla."

That's not me.
In captivity I eat banana,
In the wild savagery.

Leaving my roots,
I was a goat.
I had three kids.
You - a lion -
Had just one,
Still devouring mine.
I replenish my kind,
You wait your turn.
I trespass,
Being a protectorate,
Not Knowing
So many distant borders -
What's the difference?
Not deserving the treatment.

Then I skip,
Learning to jump,
Like doctor Jack Mapanje
The queue staring at me -
I don't have a face
If that's all I am,
As if my mother abused drugs.

Feeling sorry for me
With vouchers as in chids lay,
Buying food from Tesco
As the fat lady
Questions my strangeness
And witnesses point a finger
I thought I was a scarecrow.
So be it.

Clarify intent,
Teach truth in history,
Then they may
Not laugh at me.
Then you ask,
What's my first language?
Ask my granny,
Oh no, the generation's gone,
Still confused
Which language they spoke.
I thought
I am Portugese
Never owning a plantation
Of my own,
Then I thought
I am German,
Then I realised
The English kicked
The Kingdom out.

They said
I was French -
Oh no, Marie! le bread!

Thanks to the queen-
Queen Victoria that is -
I was given the name
Rumours say he was the great.
Maybe I'm a Mormon
Tracking a family tree.

Communism never thrived,
Blaming the heat.
Here in Wales
Starting with " Bore da ",
Still wondering -
A first language?
Studying English,
An adopted tonque,
Through life -
What makes you think?
I know mylanguage,
Existing passively,
As others came
And others left,
Surprised why
I speak in tonques.

Welsh Consortium for Refugees and Asylum seekers
Brynglas Bungalow
Heol Brynglas
NP20 5QU

01633 855095


was established in 2003 by Eric Ngalle Charles, Tom Cheesman and Sylvie Hoffmann, in order to provide an outlet in Wales for the creativity of refugees and asylum seekers, and their supporters; to to educate the public; and to raise money for charities assistind refugees and asylum seekers.
tel: 07736408064

Welsh Refugee Council
Phoenix House,
389 Newport Road,
tel:029 2048 9800


  1. yeah great thanks, just getting back in sync, hope you well too mate have a good one. xx heddwch