Until the Time Comes

Building a better world for Refugees in memory of a wonderful human being.

Until the Time Comes

We received an email in response to our Chair, Adrian Roper’s comments published by the Western Mail.

The email contained a wonderful poem by Mr Phil Madden which we’re happy to reproduce here with Mr Madden’s kind permission. Before the poem a little about Mr Madden in his own words.

I live in Abergavenny. I have worked all my life supporting people with disabilities and their families. I am the current Chair of Learning Disability Wales. I have become friends with a family who are refugees from Iran and I am learning a great deal from their stories of Iranian culture and their own bravery.. 

The poem (almost there!) is described by Phil as follows.

The main drive in the poem was the idea of  ‘noticing’. At the time my mind was full of the images described, all of which were from ‘real’ life. I didn’t know what to ‘do ‘ with them. In the end I wrote them as they were as succinctly as I could-let the poem speak for itself.

Now, finally,

‘Until the Time Comes’

What may not be poetry but without which no poems.


For instance my friend on Death Row.

Who gets up at five,

puts on the coffee,

watches it boil.

Through his postage stamp window

watches the dawn.


The Syrian refugee

on day two of familiarisation.

In the police station,

asking where is the torture room.


The girl at the match in epilepticus.

Eyes rolling trapped.

Like a cat in a washing machine.

The paramedic

getting on with his business,

whilst the game got on with the game.



Other noticing.

Noticing the magpie noticing the hedgehog.

Checking  its slowness.

Imminent  hibernation,

or was it about to die.


Until the time comes

for the poem to shut up and start talking.

To fold up the map and walk into it.

Phil Madden 2019

Thank you to Mr Phil Madden for sharing this with us all.

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