A selection of original poems are appearing in chalk on the public footpaths of Frankley.

One of the poems depicts the horror of conflict in Syria through the eyes of a child has been written on a footpath in Frankley.

The moving piece – which has been written in chalk on the path close to Balaam Wood School – is headed: “The thoughts of a ten year old Syrian child – When”.

It goes on to describe the suffering – and dream – of a Syrian child. The first line of the poem reads: “When will I be able to wake up and not hear the sound of gunshots.”

Another verse – a love poem – is chalked in the same hand on a path through park land in the Forestdale area. This poem is signed: “Poet Monkey Ra”.

You can read the full poems below, in pictures or text. If you know who wrote this poem or you have seen any other poems written anywhere in the area, please let us know!

The thoughts of a ten year old Syrian child


When will I be able to wake up and not hear the sound of gunshots

When can I stop avoiding the [alleyway] were the [corpses] of my neighbours do rot

When will I stop thinking today’s the day I die

Waiting for death as every hour ticks by

When will I find my father and my mother

Who will look after the child with no mother

When will the school open again

When will I be free of this mental pain

When will I stop being a pawn in a political game

[Enemy] to no one target to all

[Nowhere] to hide as the bombs fall

Who will count the cost of those who fall

Reduced to nameless statistics

Born dead in the land of the mystic

No dignity in life

No dignity in death

Fighting for life from the very first breath

When will I be a child again

Playing happily in the rain

When will I be seen as a human being

If you had seen what I have seen

Been the places I have been

Watching someone destroy your dreams

I will always be [here]

I will always hear

My neighbour’s screams

But I have to dream

Will I ever be able to wash away the stench of death

And replace it with the scent of the Damask rose

What the Moon Saw

I kiss your neck as you gaze at the stars

Standing here like Venus and Mars

Dressed only in the moonlight

Flesh pressing flesh as we stand and caress

Comfortable and happy in this state of undress

My lips capture every breath as you breathe

This place I don’t ever want to leave

I love you more than there are stars in the sky

Without your love I would surely die

I see the tears form in her eyes

Distorting the reflection of the new sunrise

And for that moment there is nothing else in this universe but you

Wrapped in the contortions of love

Our silhouettes picked out by the moon above

And there on that night I learnt the true meaning of love





  1. I was very moved by the poems. Sending one of my own.

    His Jewish Face.

    All of a sudden we no longer had names,
    A gold star on our coats to make us feel ashamed.
    All of a sudden they branded our arms,
    Numbers in ink like herds being farmed.
    All of a sudden no homes did we own,
    What money we had in our coats we had sewn.
    All of a sudden no friends that we knew,
    Would acknowledge us now they could not know a Jew.
    All of a sudden to ghettos were led,
    Where we met with starvation no food to be fed.
    All of a sudden they came with their tanks,
    Their soldiers on foot and their high commandant’s.
    All of a sudden as the trains we grew near,
    They divided us from the ones we held so dear,
    All of a sudden as the trains pulled away,
    We knew that on earth this would be our last day.
    All of a sudden because of our chosen race,
    We met with Our Lord with his own Jewish face.


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