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We live in troubled times and the sight of poor people, such as refugees and migrants, on our television screens has really made me think but I have no answer for this very serious problem. What has struck me is how these people have risked their lives to travel to Europe to find work and make a better life for themselves and families. However, it is important that entry to a country is legal like the examples I have given down the centuries. In regard to the Commonwealth, the early settlers to Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc. also risked their lives and many were drowned at sea – never making it to their destination and, of course, without means of informing the family at home of their plight, or at least not for some time. On Sunday, 1st June, 2014 I attended a concert in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall entitled “Voices of the Commonwealth”. This was a concert of wonderful singing from male voice choirs throughout the United Kingdom and also from Australia, Canada, Seychelles and Isle of Man, interspersed with solo voices from Gordon Cree, Cheryl Forbes and Master of Ceremonies Jamie McDougall who also sang. Other guest spots were The Swingcats and Jai McDowall, the Kirkintilloch Brass Band and Glasgow Police Band. It was a musical feast and a wonderful example of music bringing people together from different cultures. It was a very memorable evening and the proceeds went to Alzheimer Scotland (Action on Dementia). My conclusion is that we do need cultural exchange as well as people exchange to constantly keep us refreshed and exposed to new ideas. I finish with this poem by a Spanish writer – Joan Margarit. It is a tableau of reflection on a relationship:

Autumn Path The male blackbird with dark wings has received us like an old god of harvest. The young wine sits on the tablecloth, in a bottle that catches the light, rosy as the fortune teller’s crystal ball. In it can be seen – between two rows of vines – a path with footprints that you and I leave, together and on our own. We are inside the coldness of the glass. When we touch it we vanish, but you smile at me real, on the other side of the white table. The bottle between us two – our life has the light of the setting sun, which is that of the dawn.

Digital Commonwealth Creative Writing Anthology: Writing for the Common Weal [JUNE 2015]  

The Handbook of Digital Storytelling is a publication produced by the Big Lottery Funded Glasgow 2014 Legacy project Digital Commonwealth pr...

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