Refugee Poem

It started as abuse, then a crime, now a war,
Do not be alarmed,
Do not be disturbed,

Something is rumbling,
And needs to be heard,
No one is working the fields,
No one is tending the goats,
All is lost,
Feel so remote,
They killed my mum and dad,
My aunts and uncles too,
Have to go now my baby before,
Before they kill you,
The people are moving,
And are gathering apace,
They just want to survive,
Having to leave their homes,
Having to leave there place,
It’s so hot,
There is no shade,
We carry our lives,
On our backs,
Past our bombed out,
Towns and cities,
Past our fallen,
Turning black,
I have never seen the sea,
Look mum,
A shout amidst the splashing,
But it was my mothers,
But if you insist,
Yeah yeah,
I take that,
And those as well,
His fingers scratching,
The floor rose up,
To a dreadful screaming,
As tears flowed down,
In a fearful heart,
Look over there,
Some lights are twinkling,
Then just the darkness,
And the silence of night,
Some find land,
With warm hearts to great them,
Some given food and a bed for the night,
Some wait in queues ,for someone to stamp them,
Some dream of comfort and a soft bed for the night ,
Now it’s the marching,
For days for weeks for months,
Some gave us water,
Some gave us loaves of bread,
But I’m getting weaker,
No strength in my arms,
No strength in my legs,
Busses and trains,
Just Come to remove us,
Razor wire,
To break us,
And turn us back,
We have got to carry on,
Ever northwards,
To find the peace we lack,
The summer has gone,
Our line keeps moving,
Ever forward through the mud,
An icy shower bights to meet them,
As our weakest fall,
Hit the floor with a thud,
My feet getting heavier,
And chilled to the bone,
No shelter any where,
And they just gave us a mobile phone?
And now a camera in my face,
No food in our bellies,
Got to leave this place,
Germany says come,
We have hot food and shelter,
Be both welcome and safe,
But some crowds goad and taunt us,
Some threaten as if to give chase,
I’ve no tears left,
Thinking of my home,
Where I was both dry and clean,
I’m now caked in frozen mud,
In a frozen nightmare,
Never a dream,
Winters coming,
All that wind and snow,
Its piling ever higher,
I scrape us out a hollow,
In the hope that we can sleep,
Maybe dream in peace,
When the snow cleared,
They were found in each other’s arms,
They looked as if asleep.

This was written after seeing a documentary about the migrations that followed the western bombings that followed the Arab Spring.

Click here for a larger image of the Refugee Painting

3 thoughts on “Refugee Poem

  • 28th February 2020 at 8:06 am

    That’s incredibly moving, it made me cry – we should all cry. Something should be done to change this, but what can we do? Thank you Graham for what you ARE doing, it is inspirational

  • 3rd December 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Fantastic work and very moving.

  • 25th November 2021 at 10:31 pm

    The imagery is so vivid that I felt anger and the reference to the empty gesture of a mobile phone really made me think then the monotony of their march and the pictures in my mind of mother and baby whose peace only came frozen in ice is going to trouble my own peace beautiful x


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *