The Poet

‘I was born in Spain, in 1927, to an extremely poor family.

‘From 1936 to 1939 we experienced the extreme terrors of the civil war, with constant bombing by Hitler’s Luftwaffe. My childhood was spent queuing for food or begging, or stealing from fields. After the war, school was impossible, as my father was imprisoned for defending our republic.

‘In 1962 I arrived in Australia with a young family, and worked at Fishermans Bend building military guidance equipment. Life was good until a serious accident in 1973 left me with spinal injuries. My supportive family had to survive some very difficult years.

‘I began to paint and write poetry, eventually publishing successfully in magazines and anthologies. I also became active in supporting the Spanish community, and I received the Knight of the Civil Merit medal in 1996 from the Spanish government.

‘My old dreams were broken by the work accident, but I did not give up; I dreamt new dreams. I looked in different directions and I found unexpected treasures within myself and others.’

Angel Burgos


If life had no other meaning
Than to sit while years go by
Without a hermit’s feelings
It could never be worthwhile

To exist without reflection
Makes life a futile bore
Better life spent as a mule
In a stable filled with straw

How sad to see an empty mind
Closed to the flowing wealth of life
As if of marble cold and white

What horror to live already dead
Contemplating an existence consumed
In a deep lake of lament

Poem by Angel Burgos (translated from Spanish)