Too many cold and lonely faces
in the crowd on board a cheerless boat
on top of a heartless ocean where swells
of desperation toss them up and down.
Innocent children’s squashed playtimes
scream wild excitement, confusion and fear?
A small babe, wide eyed, unaware, bereft
of warm suckling – sits on his knee,
still safe but the boat bares a heavy load,
much like their hearts.
Too many desperate families –
so much desperation in their eyes.
Rubbing together thin bones does not a fire make
and lost, wide eyes lower in bewilderment.
Faces in this crowd are turned to the world ahead
of them; hands held aloft is despair like a beacon
beckoning death, floating in the twilight -some dying –
no one will see them – there are too many.
Pleading, tired hands trace the waves
as they watch crying souls departing.
The ocean swells with bodies
scarred and torn – they at last are now free?
He holds aloft his small shivering bundle,
arms stretched high from the gaping mouth
of a hungry sea whose scoundrel’s dimples distort
when rain batters it with torrential madness
punishing him for wanting to be safe,
punishing him for wanting to be free,
punishing him for wanting a new land
punishment for him and his family.
Grasping fingers can almost feel the sand,
taste the food they will never eat, smell clean beds
they will never sleep in beyond those insidious
shores where their dreams lay basking.
Some more will perish; defeat and resignation
takes up precious space. Hope, life and longing
fall away like paper petals strewn,
petiole are too weak, pot bound and cramped.
This tired boat struggles to keep afloat
remnants of their life – life needs room to grow.
He cries for someone to take his son
before he kisses him and slips into the abyss.