Spoken word workshop

5th August 2018

26th, 27th and 28th July

MCVS, Valletta


I remember how among the questions posed to the people met and interviewed at the beginning of Rima, there was one in particular I really liked:

Could you tell me a story from your homeland? A story which you would like to tell to your
children, a story that you like to tell because it reminds you of your country, or reminds you of
someone you loved there…?

The Spoken word workshop put stories that all of us have inside into narration, verses, metaphors and sometimes rhymes. 

Thanks to Fattima Mahdi and to the participants, Amanda Eke, Justin Galea and Kenneth Scicluna for sharing what they feel about displacement.

Texts, videos (click on the names to see the videos of the poems) and pictures below. 


Amanda Eke

How much a dollar really cost?

The question is detrimental, paralyzing my thoughts

Pursuits of riches and glory burn round the clock

We sell our tickets to heaven and buy our way to the top

While our playgrounds and our churches crumble

The gears of greed and capitalism start to tumble

Gears that run on American's debt

And they've got their ways of making you

Their ways of keeping you

Controlled; live in a poor man's world like they want you to

20 years old, could see it clearly

Within this lifespan I'd attain some revenue, maybe sincerley

Enroll in college and pay dearly

Walk off from graduation

A jobless fool with no pension plan

Dreams to make ten grand or maybe build a brand

I knew this one dude he became a father, baby's brown eyes that lay open

At a dad he would never bond with, due to the golden token

A dad he needed

Asked to take some sick leave, he didn't receive it

Felt depleted

"I'm working this job for you don't you believe it?"

stagnation is one thing that we've defeated.

Listen to me, see I would kill for you.

Cross this world for you

But daddy's gotta work." And he walked out the door.

Tell me how much a dollar cost to you?


Justin Galea

Qed nipprova niftaħ għajnejja


L-iżveljarin tal-mowbajl daqq.

Qed nipprova niftaħ ghajnejja imma iebsa,

Mhux li kien nerġa mmur lura
għal utopia ta’ bil-lejl
il-ħolma mhux mittiefsa

Nitfa l-iżveljarin. B subgħajja inqalleb l-iscreen.. ngħaddi naqa l- ħin… naghmel café u.. biskuttin

Ġejja ohra minn-nofsinhar...
‘ed  jaqsmu l- bahar ifittxu l-ħajja
telqu id-dar biex jsibu

La barchetta in mezzo al mare
è diretta a Santa Fè
dove va per caricare
mezzo chilo di caffè.

Agħmillu karta.. Agħmillu l-karta, forsi jħalluħ iħuf bil-kwiet

Għalxejn il-karta ma wasalx malta għax fi triqtu dan laħaq miet.

Ix-xoghol  mmur bil-lanċa

Waqt li nħoss iż-żiffa tal-Port il-Kbir, riħa tal-baħar ta’ filgħodu niftakar fir-rakkonti ta’ missieri ta’ żmien il-Libja, l-oil rigs, it-tbatija u l-flus.

Ġieli noqgħod nehwden jekk għandiex nitlaq

Fejn ma nafx imma l-aqwa li mmur... ndur

Issa b’tal-linja, bil-mutur

…mhux issa ċ-ċans?

mhux issa ċ-ċans li nerħliha lej l-orjent li tant ilu isejjaħli

mhux issa ċ-ċans li ninsa kollox waqt il-parties tal-qamar kwinta tajlandiżi.

mhux issa ċ-ċans li nieħu selfie mat-tfal foqra sudanizi meta mmur nqassmilhom il-ħelu

mhux issa ċ-ċans kif għadni żgħir u mimli enerġija

mhux issa ċ-ċans li nitlaq kollox forsi nsib xortija

mhux issa ċ-ċans li naħrab avolja jien bla ħtija

mhux issa ċ-ċans, hekk jew b’hekk x’għandi x’titlef?

‘mhux issa ċ-ċans’


Erġajt sibt ruħi quddiem l-iscreen…ix-xogħol

Mhux li kien nerga mmur lura ghal utopia ta bil-lejl, il-ħolma mhux mittiefsa

Qed nipprova niftaħ  għajnejja


...imma iebsa.


Kenneth Scicluna

We stand on opposing shores

our minds, outstretched

sparking a bright cloud


in dark anticipation.


An umbilical rope

on which we pull

holding it tight,

sending thoughts along it


two cable cars

crossing each other

swaying above

a stormy sea,

shards of wind, shrieking

a harpy sliding

picking at travelling hopes.


Leaving a home.

Finding a home.


Searching, looking through

the dusty windows

of a locked-up forlorn hope;

thick walls stained

by patches of acid yearning.


Pipes are bled, rusted.

Flames are snuffed, cold.

Food has turned sour,

and I am too old.


Let's unpick the bricks.

Let's air the must.

Let's speak the words that

ignite a light

by which to swim

to each other's side;

with each swing

of each arm

let's prick sharp holes that


the thickness

of the night