11 July, 2022 - By Catherine Davidson

Poetry Games

Since West London Welcome first opened back in 2018, writer Anna Perera and I have been running our reading and writing group at the centre every week on Thursdays. With our refugee and migrant community we’ve read novels, short stories and poetry, and sometimes even manage to get a few poems written.

At our Refugee Week celebration last month, we ran a ‘Poetry Games’ booth. Anyone could come and try out a game.

Playing Word Games, people chose from a list of nouns, verbs and adjectives, based on randomly generated numbers – like their birthdays or friends’ birthdays – then used the words to write lines.

In our Write a Grape game, you could pick a grape from our bunch, write a physical description using the five senses and then leap into imagination using prompts like – if a grape were a person, what secret would it tell you? If a grape were a dream, what would it be?

We got some great poems and had a lot of fun. Here’s some of our community’s work:

Joseph’s Grape


Looks like full moon

Reminds me of my first kiss

Feels like my cat’s paws,

Smells like a granny’s garden.


Sunflower, having soft, strong wings

Just my inner child, riding a horse

Behind my fake father


Joseph Lee in our garden.

Hope bends the young leaf

The moon chases a giant chair

The moon gives me its shiny hand


Birth gives us a giant cup

The sky paints warm apples

Eyes imagine green birds


– By a member of West London Welcome


The grape is purple and it is round

It is soft inside but the shell is rough

It has a sweet scent


If a grape were a planet, it would be Neptune

If a grape told you a secret, it would be 

That other fruits are jealous 

Because with it you can make wine


– By a member of West London Welcome

Catherine Davidson is a poet and novelist of Greek and Jewish heritage from California, living in West London. She teaches at Regent’s University, Amnesty International, Kite Studio, and Exiled Writers Ink. She is the author of The Priest Fainted, two pamphlet collections of poetry, and the novel, the Orchard. 

Anna Perera, novelist, born in London, of Sri Lankan and Irish heritage. After teaching in secondary schools and running a unit for excluded teenage boys, Anna studied creative writing. Her critically acclaimed novel, Guantanamo Boy, was nominated for numerous awards, has been translated into a dozen languages, and was adapted as a stage play. The Glass Collector, set in Cairo, was also nominated for the Carnegie Medal. The Whole of the Moon is her latest novel.