Good Chance

To mark World Refugee Day and celebrate Refugee Week 2020 in the UK, Good Chance and The World From My Window have embarked on a global collaboration to bring together voices of reflection and hope from 28 countries: from Mexico to New Zealand via Sudan and Iran.

Internationally-renowned poet and playwright Inua Ellams, author of the hit Barber Shop Chronicles, has drawn together lines of poetry from around the world and weaved them into this new global democratic artwork. He unites views from windows across the globe into one huge vista that stands as a living monument to the stories around us.
Driven by the desire to imagine what the world could look like and to find hope in this strange new time, people from our global Window Words workshop, from The World From My Window community and our Good Chance Artists have united to share their words with us all.

A decision filled with colour


They say after a supernova
the explosion sucks everything around it, even the light.

The world is now an unknown space.
I look for the frame of my window.

Outside, dawn drips through the valleys.
Clouds stumble like churning stomachs.

The best time to look
is when I can see without noise, distractions,

when the pieces fall into place
and the mess can fade into background.

The pouring rain draws me to the window.
It shines like the full moon.

Long trapped behind their blinds,
neighbours pace the pavement‚ no man’s land.

Driveways once empty, hold cars
that haven’t moved for months.

The glass, a transparent shield,
muffles the war-cry chatter of these passers-by.

I open it, the city breathes out an immense sigh
and I let torrential rain fill the river of myself.

I climb out to set sail, to dream, but find
a dropped rubber band one metre from my door

and fall into the hollow dawn.
Silence prevails throughout the neighbourhood.

Last month, a street vendor was arrested for going out.
Last month, a man in power got away with going out.

We humans with our lawnmowers, our rage,
our online monsoons, so desperate to feel full

have caused Mother Earth to sob, she has filled this land.
Now four women stand, their backs hunched,

nervously looking at me.
Pollen floats, as if trying to run away.

Squirrels manically scoff packaged peanuts
like teenagers of creation.

Charcoal trains pollute the air. Thunders crash like angry bulls.
The path is broken, but I shuffle through the storm

like an old hermit, the storm now inside me, breaking
over fields wide and private like my thoughts.

I fight back tears in front of strangers.
I miss hiking through mountain ranges,

sitting on marvellous sand dunes,
the dust on my face, my skin a sea of fire.

When will I be among them again?
Will waves still sound the same?

Are our lives like scaffolding empty of homes?
Who else’s love is drowned in red?

I listen to the birds calling.
Open up, they say. It’s me, they say.

The sky is a decision filled with colour, they say.
A chiffchaff will trill through the triumphant sky, they say.

Pinks and oranges will claim the evenings, they say.
Life’s dangers won’t last forever, they say.

They send me a ray of hope,
my words like scaffolding to climb.

I will wait for stars to look through my window,
for the fresh morning glow,

for twigs from the unswept road light enough to be carried by the wind.
I will wait for my twinkling fingers

growing unnoticed like trees.
I will sit and enjoy the best of what nature brings,

for what magic it will return.

A poem curated by Inua Ellams


From the Window Words project with:

Alex, Alisha, Anne, Asma, Bart, Bernadee, Bethany, Claire, Connie, Coral, Deniz, Dhrubo, Diyo, Emily, Ewens, Holly, Iman, Inua, Issam, Jesús, Joanna, Karolina, Kolbrun, Khadija, Kristen, Lalain, Lamia, Laura, Lorna, Milan, Millie, Mohamed, Molly, Morag, Mustafa, Nazia, Nighat, Raisa, Ramón, Rodela, Roger, Shahid, Shehzad, Shila, Suzanne, Vesa, Will, Yasin, Yordanos, Zain


50 poets from 28 countries:

Afghanistan, Algeria, America, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Ethiopia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Scotland, Sudan, Syria, Tokyo, Turkey, Uganda, Wales, Zimbabwe