Mondays On the Move: Laugh at life

I met Sarah at our poetry wall at Petit-Château this morning. We had not been to the center or seen our wall since the beginning of the lockdown in the middle of March. I was filled with such hope and joy, seeing the center again. Together, we posted the new poems, which Sarah had printed…

Mondays On the Move: Give me a chance

This week’s “Mondays On the Move” song is called “Give me a chance.” We wrote this song with a young man from Yemen, who told us he was so grateful to Belgium for welcoming him. All he wanted was to be given a chance to give something back in return. This year has been a…

Mondays On the Move: I am the change

For our fourth installment of our new “Mondays On the Move” project to promote freedom of movement for all people, Sarah and I share a song we wrote with an asylum seeker from Gaza, who we met at the Fedasil Arrival Centre in 2017. With him, we wrote many songs. This song is called “I…

Mondays On the Move: I could be you

It’s the third week of our new “Mondays On the Move” series to promote freedom of movement for all people. Sarah and I have been choosing a different spot around Brussels, Belgium each Monday, where we share one of our migration songs with you.   The first Monday, we talked about the project and sang…

A wild idea

This past Monday at the refugee center was cold and gray, but at least it wasn’t raining. We take what we can get with the weather in January in Belgium. The previous week, we had spread out dozens of sheets of paper with poems and songs from the previous two years and taped them all…

Magic carpet of music

Sarah and I spent two hours yesterday afternoon at the Fedasil Arrival Centre in Brussels, taping together page after page of poetry and songs into an enormous magic carpet of hope. Upon these pages were words from the hearts and minds of people from many places, all having traveled to Belgium with the hope of…

Welcome

A few weeks ago, on a particularly gloomy and frigid Monday afternoon, Sarah and I began writing words on a blank page we had posted on the wall at Petit-Château. Our “wall” is really two large wooden doors, but we have found that the packaging tape we use attaches far better onto the door than…

From Africa it’s a long story

The sun shone over Brussels yesterday afternoon, and I experienced the rare occurrence of being too warm for my jacket, scarf, and hat at the tail end of December. I set them on the bench by our open “office” space at a corner of the covered corridor at the refugee asylum center known as Petit-Château…

Before the music

This Monday at Petit-Château was about as dismal at a November afternoon in Brussels can be. A friend came with me who had wanted to experience our poetry and songwriting for a long time. I am always nervous on these occasions because I want them to have a positive experience. My first snafu was nearly…

Give me a chance to live

Our 28 October Monday afternoon poetry and songwriting session at the refugee center was intense and deeply meaningful. It was a moment where many people came together and expressed the joy of being able to share a creative moment in a world of uncertainty.   We began as usual by cleaning up our poetry wall….