So I have left everything
But I am something.
I have left everyone
But I am someone.
I have left there
But I am here.
Something, someone, here, now.
Links to poems about the refugee experience:
We can all be refugees
We can all be told to go,
We can be hated by someone
For being someone
From We Refugees by Benjamin Zephaniah.
These Strangers, in a foreign World,
Protection asked of me –
Befriend them, lest Yourself in Heaven
Be found a Refugee –
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.
From Refugee Blues by W.H.Auden.
People run away from war.
Sometimes we get away.
Sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes we’re helped.
Sometimes we aren’t.
From People Run by Michael Rosen.
I am Syrian.
Exiled, in and out of my homeland, and
On knife blades with swollen feet I walk.
From I am Syrian by Youssef Abu Yihea, translated by Ghada Alatrash.
You have to understand
That no one puts children in a boat
Unless the water is safer than the land
No one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages
…no one would leave home
Unless home chased you to the shore…
From Home by Warsan Shire.
Rest easy immigration department, for I won’t be a heavy burden on you,
Thank you dear sea for welcoming us without a visa or a passport. Thank you to the fish who will share me without asking about my religion or political beliefs,
Thank you to the news channels who will report the news of the deaths for five minutes every hour for two days,
And thank you for grieving us when you hear the news…I’m sorry I drowned.
From I’m sorry I drowned – anonymous.
It’s difficult to feel the edges of the words
These words stretch round the things’ outsides, until
We can’t see the end of either’s fences,
We feel discomfort
From Bicske by Joanna Walsh.