A magpie walks near - within 4 metres - and I notice the thinness of its legs. A cyclist rides freewheel down the slope. The shadow of a tall building has moved across another. The city is a sundial - and so is everything sunlit! The names we give to things tell more of us than them. Without its name each thing is part of unknown reality.
Two policewomen ride by on grey horses. In the clothes, the regalia, and the prescribed demeanour of a public role, they seem more named than the rest of us and less part of the unknown.
I sigh. I look up and see 7 seagulls and 3 insects flying overhead. I look down and see a dog chasing a magpie. People are leaving - there is no one sitting down now. The air is suddenly cold and the whole meadow is in shadow. It's time to move. I've been sitting here for 50 minutes.
As I turn to go I notice a folded paper* stuck in the railings behind me. Unfolding it I read:
You've been tortured
Your family think you are dead
You came here to find safety
And this is the letter you receive...
You state the men drove you to a place one and a half hours away and told you to run before they opened fire on you. The Secretary of State... considers that if the men had intended to kill you they would have done so straight away rather than give you a chance to escape.
Extract from an actual Home Office letter refusing asylum
As I wipe a tiny insect off my hand I contemplate this message.
digital diary archive© 2002, 2003 john chris jones
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