The Significant League (TSL) and Different Truths (DT) together offer an Anthology on World Refugee Day (WED), the fifth tie-up between the two. Seventy two poems, one be each poet, showcase the humane aspects of the poets from world over. War, religious or political persecution force millions to leave their home and hearth. They not only lose their homelands, where they have been rooted for centuries, but in one fell sweep, the refugees lose their identity. Millions die on the way. Those that survive are left with deep psychological scars all their lives.This anthology of TSL has been put together and edited by three eminent poets, Dr. Ampat V. Koshy, Gauri Dixit and Deepti Singh. TSL and DT wish to sensitize people towards the gross human rights violation of hapless people, who are often hounded and persecuted in an alien land. This anthology is part of the special feature on WRD by Different Truths.
The official definition of a refugee is “someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons”. And then we have the refugee camps to help refugees and the countries of the world donating funds for refugees, maybe the same countries who have displaced thousands of people. What do we call the children who are born in the refugee camps, who have never seen their homeland? The refugee camp is their homeland and the disillusioned, exhausted, tired refugees their parents. Would they ever get a shot at normal childhood? Can we one day, delete this word ‘Refugee’ from the dictionary? These questions always bother us at some point or other and there are no easy answers. The questions then fade away as we get into our daily grind. Through the poems in this anthology, the poets of TSL have put across their thoughts together on refugees and their plight.
My heartfelt thanks to all dear poets of TSL. It has been a great experience working with Deepti Singh, my friend and co-editor for this anthology. I thank Dr A V Koshy for this opportunity. Different Truths (DT), Mr. Arindam Roy and Anumita Roy Chatterjee thanks for this anthology and providing a platform for bringing to fore the social issues that plague our society.
It has been a journey of mixed emotions and tears, as I went through the thoughts of all esteemed poets of TSL.
Imagine being forced to flee your home in search of safer grounds! If you were lucky, you had time to pack a bag, if not, run!
Nearly 20 million people around the world live on the edge, living a difficult life – sad but true!
They are our brethren, and the least we can do on our part is to ensure that each human being lives and dies with dignity.
My sincere thanks to all dear poets of TSL for sparing a little time and thought here.
It has been a wonderful experience working with my co- editor and dear friend Gauri Dixit. My sincere thanks to Dr A V Koshy sir for this opportunity and of course Different Truths (DT), Mr. Arindam Roy and Anumita Roy Chatterjee for this upcoming anthology.
All the best TSL!
Editors: Gauri Dixit. Deepti Singh, and Dr. Ampat V. Koshy
The refugee who went away
I, you, it, he, she, we, they
Went away to want to stay
in the unknown, not knowing the cost to pay
The one who was left behind
Who could not try to find
A way to unwind
The path, was left to fate unkind
Some left, some died
Some reached, some tried
Some were tried
Some cried, some laughed, some lied
There were even those who helped the refugees
Some other place, some other time, some other new lees
They gave them, to settle on, with the fees
The sun kept on turning, war, run, run, peace…
The drones overhead droned.
Outside the debris of a home
Stood a man mumbling
The others ran stumbling, tumbling
The monster overhead kept rumbling
The man below kept mumbling.
“No, I will not go
Who will look after the shards?
The splinters, those innards
My house with its many leaks?”
“No I will not go
Leave me behind, please
I will play with the autumn leaves
And sing those unsung songs,
The notes of which still lie hidden
In a crunched up paper in the termite ridden
“No, I will not go. Plea…se….”
But the mumbler
In one hand a bruised tumbler
Was pulled away
And hurled in an overcrowded boat.
None heard his pleas.
And yes, none saw his soul surreptitiously sneaking out.
They say, it still hovers around the Bleak House
Searching for the notes of that unsung song
Hidden in a closet, termite-ridden.
In a massive urn, shards welter with scratched out names
We leave today for siding with life, for making a noise
about the smoke from a pyre lit under us
Out over the ocean
where the sharks have no check posts, no countries
just the seamlessness of hunger and life
I throw my children out of the inferno
They giggle and tumble over dead laps, clutching at nothing
I clutch at everything
from paper money to memories but my hands, once great
at scooping up babies are now giant sieves
I lose them all finally
The lie fluttering over the land
The identity that singes my lips when I plead
Scrap-proofs of my existence- all consigned
to earth as I run, run, run
We step over bodies,
ignore dying pleas and hug the remainders
to make it to another dawn
under the same sun and sky
The choking smoke of yesterday
repackaged as a gulp of oxygen
Over the barbs, into another lying boundary
that creases rapidly, tearing us into scraps
Shaken out like dust from a map
till the world pressing in from all sides
narrows its vision to a pin point
surrounded by a dancing debris of outcasts
Only underwater or in the skies
does life thrive limitlessly. The rest have to flee.
We are the World
We are the world, we are the children!
We are humans, out to our brethren!
Let’s stand for once together,
In their moments of distresses
Lets open the mighty doors
Of our high walled fortresses
God has put no boundaries
Embankments, borders either
Who are we to claim
It is not ours, theirs neither!
The brooks, the springs, the fields
The wealth, the joys, the yield
Not yours, not mine, let’s share
Show ourselves we’re humans
And certainly we care!
Who knows what destiny will,
Bestow on us tomorrow
There’d be plenty to share
They’d stand with us in sorrow.
Let’s give everyone a reason
To live with dignity and smiles
Let’s shout out loud and clear
Let the message go worldwide
Before our words just lose their way
Into the heaps of files!!
A Refugee is Born
First cries muffled
By the thick air
The smell of humans
Packed in a box
Way past the expiry
Do we need any more?
How can we feed him?
Amidst these questions
The refugee is born
Who has only ever known
There is no place he has been
But a refugee nevertheless
No tamarind trees that he climbed
No shores where he held her hand the first time
No memories of lands of yore
Or the bloodbath and gore
He is born
Where death is celebrated
And life is mourned
© Gauri Dixit
the visible, the multitudes who have fled, throughout the often violent history of man-(un)-kind
—hoping, when all seems lost, that refuge may, still, somehow, be sought… and found…
–seekers… of freedom– from drought—whether of water, or the lightness of life
-seekers…of life– not fraught with terror, despair, privation, starvation, annihilation … refugees
and the not-displaced, the many, may choose to turn; must choose, or turn away … choose—
to offer balms – aid and food, comforts of body, and a calming of soul …
to offer alms – of spirit – to lose sight of old shores of conflict and found new lands of peace …
tooffer –what? palliatives, late-delivered, replacing those things, in anguish, believed lost?
we can reach, in heart, in aid, in art, in awareness, to the many parts each plays, in time,
upon this earth — beliefs being perhaps separate, but evolution and destinies—shared …
if we, at cliff’s edge, choose …if we look beyond that poverty of ignorance which lies
within the presumed safety of the borders of our own confinements … if we look to see
who among the tossed, the lost, the brilliant and the different,
who among humanity, humans, kind or unkind — evolving,
who, now, may defend the species? … are we now all refugees—fleeing, until excised:
one moment vibrant; the next, CRISPR-spliced— chosen— hewn at germline
before any voice is possible, before life can recognize… itself ?
if we look, if we see them — the invisible … unnoticed, unseen, among the multitudes,
not counted, in their hunger, their thirst, their tears … unheard, if not unvoiced entirely
… is ‘perfection’ the arrival at that state where there is nothing left to take away?
… by whose choosing are the ‘imperfect’ defined, taken – how far, how permanently “away” ?
… and, by this reckoning, displacement, dis-inclusion, are we all soon to be refugees … fleeing
from the placed, from the sanctioned disruptors, from the life hackers,
changing the human through the limited eye of proximity \\ and access //
creatures, not creators, altering the unlimited aye of the Eternal?
… in refugees may be found the seeds of despair, but also,
Found, in their streams and dreams, lifeblood as we know it, the seeds of hope,
—of humanity, one Earth species seemingly able and willing to eliminate itself…
—of humankind, who, in the struggle to survive, may revive our small contribution to
the pulse of Life beyond our sight
© Michael Baron
I left home, for home
didn’t let me stay.
Far-far away, like a migratory crane looks for new lands
to make its nest
I trudged muddy fields
Swam angry rivers
To make a home again.
I left home for the pack of wolves hounded me away.
Blood I saw on the bed where
we made love one day.
Up came the torching flame
Unlike the burning desire
we shared with the moon
and the stars in the fields,
where we had sown seeds.
‘Mercy’ I cried.
But the flames reacted
with hate, scorching our
And our well hidden memories.
What they left
were just your burnt flesh.
My ripped vagina
and our lost dreams.
Yet, I went looking for
a home again.
To some unknown lands
Like that migratory crane.
For my home didn’t let me stay.
Papa you had said
How one night when-
At altar of sleep all were lain.
Your house, some people set afire.
The adjoining terrace became the stairs of haven.
Barely could you save lives
Let along any gold or dime.
From a tended garden
You became of wild; a child.
Losing your old life in smoke of communal riot.
In common camps you had to reside.
It was not the end,
Just the beginning-
A whole life of fight
To start a new life.
In search of your lost land
Where did the feet not venture?
Alas! The hardship was no adventure.
Discarding books to take up tools
Was the way you could survive?
Knocking at known doors
History has a flair.
From India to Syria.
Bangladesh to Nigeria.
One identity they bear
Heritage of exile
Who wasn’t a refugee, at some point in time, in our lives?
As students, job seekers, tourists we sought assistance
to tide over a few hours, days or months?
We did receive assistance, it is human to seek help and receive it.
The benevolent Raja of Gujarat allowed the Parsis
to live on his land, when he was convinced
they would like sugar blend in the milk.
Indians have benefitted a thousand fold by their inclusion!
Let us help the Syrians!
Let us give them succor!
Let us help them to reclaim their motherland!
Let us be fair and just to needy guests!
His Sister’s Scarf
Aloft the banners of victorious nations floats a tousled head
Buried under the yoke of olive green, the screeches of a million corpses
Renting the air in desperation
The head of an eight year old who lived to tell this tale of horrors
The vivisection of human dignity, the rape of innocent childhood.
His terrified sister’s scarf clutched tightly in his clenched fist
Wailing in disbelief as her clothes were ripped off her waif -like frame
The helpless beseeching face of his hunch backed father
The man who once carried him high on his shoulders, begging for mercy on his knees
The trauma of seeing his He Man, his idol brutally beaten to a pulp
The curettage of humanity drop by drop
His mother cowered beneath her dead husband’s bleeding body
They kicked her out of the room dragging her by her hair
Calling her derogatory names drunk with vicious rage.
They had to run from this pack of hyenas
For their land was not theirs anymore
It was the ghetto of murder and mayhem
They were refugees from friends that turned foes, the unkindest cut of all
The curse on the country they fled to
The uprooted Banyan trees trailing their branches
The scars that tarnished the soil that gave refuge
Who gives another human the right
To disfigure and handicap?
Oh let me take my toy train
Please remember to water my rose bush
Give me my sister’s doll’s house
Let me hug the neighbour’s daughter
Mama said I would marry her when I grew up !
Beware the wrath of God o ye creators of refugees
For nowhere will you get any refuge after the curse of weeping souls!
Lands ravaged; raped and razed
The Heavens roared with intimidation
The innocent; dispersed or erased
Their tears echo the decimation
The aggressors; purposeful and hell bent
Their atrocities rained from the skies
Actions sinful; greed with deadly intent
Their creed one of absolute genocide
God’s chosen; scattered and strewn
Begging for compassion; needing his grace
The innocent; collateral damage of no value
Is there room in the manger for the misplaced
The refugees searching for new homes
Pleading their cause with dire words
Their lives resonate and their blood flows
God’s chosen; the meek shall inherit the Earth
Under the blue,
Of a faultless sky,
And the non-believer,
And the home-owner,
And the asylum giver,
All bowed together,
To a god,
The power brokers,
Woke up to cold sweat,
From this nightmare,
Their collective breaths,
Into a laughter,
That cut lines deeper,
And the non-believer,
And the home-owner,
And the asylum giver.
Leaving my Home
I am leaving my home…
Mother says we are leaving our homeland
I tried to take my books along but mother said no
So I am only taking along
A ribbon from my dead sister’s hair
I tried to wake her up
But she is not opening her eyes
Mother did not dress her up
Though her clothes were torn and bloody
Her lovely face is swollen and bruised
But mother only cried and did not treat the wounds….
I tried to dig out my father from under the wall
That crumbled and fell upon him as a ball of fire fell from sky
But now I must go
Mother is ready
She has put few clothes in a bag a few pieces of bread
She is crying
I am crying too
I hug my home’s walls
I don’t know if I will come back
I don’t know if wall will have fallen by then
It’s still dark outside as we find our way
Stepping over dead bodies lying on streets
Some eyes are closed, some open
Still trying to find a lost dream.
Turbulence of Timing
Immense fear emanating
Plight of its people an instance
Rooting in divisive ideologies
Lingering in humanity
Activities of no valuation
Deaths of person imminent heart breaking
Due to nation reception
Alas to no avail
Human rights be respected
Animosity of divisions lingering
How humanity must end this plight of refugees?
Will it ever end?
Only humanity can answers this dilemma.
©Roy Mark Azanza Corrales
15. Second Chance
Once born in a mighty place
Paradise they call their home
Sweet memories a treasure of their own
Hidden in their heart where it belongs
Victim of power struggle
Between the strong and the righteous
True witness of terror, hunger and grief
Where homes were made a testing ground
For strong missiles and cannonballs
They lost everything in vain
But keep their spirit for survival game
Swallow their pride and live like the beggars do
Terrified silently crying
In agonising pain
They seek refuge in a foreign land
Wishing for a better place to start
Pick the pieces of shattered dreams
For a new beginning
A second chance for a better life.
Time indeed will heal the pang of loss.
And maybe we will build
A better house than we lost. (Or maybe not.)
We will once again
Sing, laugh, marry and celebrate
As exactly as we would remember it was done before.
We will mould, as best as we can
This new strange world into the old familiar one.
With luck our food might even taste
Same as before.
Something in the air will always tell me
This is not the same rain
That falls on our broken tin roof.
Something will always tell me
This apple is not the same one
That grows in our abandoned orchard.
I will wake up at each dawn
To find a different sun rising
Than the one that rises over the ruins of our village…
I will be always torn between;
What could have been!
And though we live side by side –
Loving, peaceful, amicable neighbors
In the way you look at me,
In the way you talk to me-
Will always tell me
I don’t belong here,
Will always remind me
I am a refugee.
©Shabir Ahmad Mir
She could barely walk but she will
Another few miles to muster uphill
The weight of her womb’s kicking child,
With courage she bit her lip and through tears smiled as fellow refugees filed.
All that was left of his spirit that she now carried,
Her being in her throat constricted in his memory as she tarried,
For he was a blessed soldier watching from heaven,
A posthumous child was destiny’s pawn that was summoned.
War became a way of life in these parts
Where identity was an excuse to divide hearts
Blood was the river that quenched everyone’s thirst,
Missiles reached before a nightmare unfolded, first.
She was a few days before her term in maternity
But now a refugee exposed to bullets, this crossover an eternity
A strange ache clamped her back and the sweat broke out
The child was on its way to see a war ridden world without a doubt.
The heat and dust took their toll on her energy now
The borderline a few more miles she must make it somehow
Oh cursed times that tore the family apart
When every morning instead of chirping birds, war cries would start!
Sirens screaming, bullets fleeing, blood curdling yelling
But “please God” she beseeched the sky, the baby was coming!
A strange warmth hit her chest as she sat down legs apart
She begged the others to watch her infant if death were to make her part.
Lost were the refugees thronging to touch a holy ground
None could hear her but angels do tread and one she found
The child screamed in dismay of having been born in this earthly jail
In her dying moments while the blood poured from her chest she felt herself as a mother, fail!
Such a beautiful boy a mould of his brave soldier father
Together in heaven his parents will watch him ever!
Stranger – you don’t Belong!
And the earth trembled, all around;
Houses big and small,
River and rivulets,
Revolted to the tremor
This land was not inhabitable any more.
Shaking their heads,
The decision taken,
Taking what belongings they could,
To find a place
To live in, with dignity and peace.
Passing through towns, villages and fields,
Their money quickly dwindling
Their numbers slowly dwindling
Succumbed to depression, exhaustion and disease.
Their chubby children
Caricatured down to wasting waifs;
Jeans and gowns, torn and shorn.
In the next town there was hope,
People were offering aid.
Tall proud farmers, shop-owners and artisans,
Stood in a line
To partake some rations that they were giving,
To keep death away, by yet another day.
Eyes rooted to the ground, they held out their hands
As they’d never done before.
A small bag of grains and some potatoes, they all got,
And a warning:
Move on to another place, here you don’t belong!
Stranger, please, soon be gone.
Fortnights many, rain played truant
Sun venting anger, with all might burnt
Green lush grass turned to pale billow
waterholes dried up, went hollow
Arose a fire wild which did engross
kindled trees and singed the grass
Forest once merry, turned to ashes
no time to rue, juncture for dashes
Privileged with wings took first flight
thanking God they escaped the plight
Legged ones soon followed suit
progeny in tow ran fast on foot
Many a kin vanquished in the way
Fell to lurking dangers, easy prey
Also in race were once famed Kings
nature a big leveler, equated all beings
Greener pastures allured them ahead
Fresh flora fauna would be their bread
Neigbourhood jungle now beckoned
Lively springs enshrined they reckoned
Migrants new were looked down upon
gazes, sneers, snarls, fights anon
Packs, herds, flocks and the pride
with new blood infused were astride
Slow but steady started their settling
species of a kind, they began mingling
Decades later were the exodus tales retold
of unfavorable tides and brave hearts taking hold
©Gurpreet Singh Rana
Lost Identity – Branded a Refugee
Bare feet, sans clothes, starving, bent shoulders
Incomprehensible rage crushing like boulders
Onwards we March, humanity into horizon
Behind us our mother land, nourisher now crimson
What made a raving brother turn against brothers
Faith preaching to pit mercilessly nations and neighbours
Eyes darkened with despair, loss and pain
We scuttle, as sky showers scuds instead of rain
It doesn’t matter, the cause, the color of skin
Deprivation is the mantra, wealth woman and land to win
The swindlers feign superiority, scream and paint vulgarity
Rip, maim and rape bellowing profane obscenity
Uprooted from once our dear towns and homes
The wall of love breached, gardens of forlorn tombs
We bravely found our families by tattoos on torn limbs
As kaffirs, brothers as chai boys, exodus of landless beggars
Hungry, branded we scavenge cadavers, bile and drains
While inside tin godowns, tempting fumes of rotten grains
Like wild beasts, inside torn tents and burrows our hearth
At night we crawl in our torn jeans, ruminate in dearth
Our hope like rivers sluggishly with blood and gore
Poisoned with missiles, man’s hatred for man bore
Leaving behind land of rife, trudging towards unknown future
Over a bread stale, a five year old consoles a broken father
The shadow of his body hanging dead limply
From the shredded tree on the parched land, aridly
Mined and bombed , land he had lovingly toiled and tiled
My widowed mother a sex slave, singing a lullaby’s ghost
Onwards we March, for acceptance, our begging bowls
Check posts, airports, as tumbling bodies in tilting boats
The monster roars
I now know what shell-shocked is –
Shell shocked is to lose a neighborhood
In one stroke
To have history erased
In one stroke
Shell shock is red paint splayed on a domestic scene
Rough hearts wipe my canvas clean
Streets become rivers
Ferrying the dead and the living
I desperately pray for a branch a log a twig
To anchor me to my land
Death drops its mantle on the fortuitous
Hope gathers up the dammed in his folds
Oh! This foolish hope
Oh! This foolish wish to live
Riding a wispy fate I flee
I run for days
And drift over seas
I had a job, a routine
I had hopes I had dreams
All in an another life
Now I am a cell in a mass of surging humanity
A nameless hopeless spectre
Without an identity
I am a rudderless refugee
Will I ever get back my dignity?
©Bhuvaneshwari Shivakumar Shankar
Borders got washed away
as I peacefully lay
on this unknown, gravely shore.
I was born in a world
where no land I could call my own,
sans spacious playgrounds
where I could rumble in the mud for fun
and stumble without being shell shocked.
And now the sea has turned traitorous too.
Are we still trespassing in our blissful sleep-
My mother and I?
If we take a refuge in this foreign dust now,
will it refuse to get infused too?
Dedicated to Aylan Kurdi – a protest poem
Partition and Plight of Refugee
A Land they knew always as theirs, a land however big or small
Home and family, friends and relatives and culture grew
The land of their forefathers, and the air they breathed
And water they drank was all theirs they knew
But a day came from nowhere; showing a Devil’s face,
When the wind gave a shiver and raging flames with bloody hands
Bathed the earth red and black, shamming and trampling humanity
Cries of horror echoed from innocent minds; tarnishing every hope and peace*
The country which was One, is now divided and borders drawn
Building wires and walls to part and the Line of control they called
Forced away from their inheritance they came to a land of promise
Now a new adjustment and some ogling eyes they are to face
No house, no land, striving for food; friends and relatives dispersed
And all they got was a tag attached to their names as “Refugee”
Every local eyed them so, as if an outsider in their own country
This was the thought of the locals and alienated them being indifferent in sundry
But the migrants fought for their own place, for this country was their right*
All they could rely, was on their hard work and the determination paved the way
The trials and the drought of nothingness;
Nothing could ever stop their way
But the name Migrant, never left and haunted them everyday
Even though they were Indians by mind and spirit
And a true patriot always in every way.
Dedicated to all the refugees who had been displaced from East Pakistan or West Pakistan to India during the Partition.
24.Addiction to Live
Bare morsels, Starving stomachs,
Growing bodies, we fight to survive
For the life which is not ours
What should I say of other necessities?
Tattered clothes with begged comforters
We fight weathers courageously
Dreams are many inspite of crises
Whispering wishes to northern star
They soon shatter with haunting past
Lost homes with lost near ones
On isolated land we find days wading
We flock together in certain insecurity
In the hell grows illusionary heavens
We steal and crime to bow for pastures
Knowingly we walk towards cul-de-sac
In addiction to live, we call death near
Ending up in thoughts of suicides
We commit crimes gruesome
Uncertainty of certainty
Do not let us cry to die
We laugh anonymously
We smile every morning religiously
We pretend to love God with falsity
We lost God the day we lost our homes
We live as refugees; no rights to desire
But we dream a piece of land
A land where our names can be etched
25. No more Refugee
What have they done
Why do they run
Away from their home for shelter
Loaded with fears
Their eyes filled with tears
With clothes torn and tattered
And hopes all scattered
For what are they punished
Innocents thrown out like rubbish
Just a life for survival
For sake of revival
The land never voices for borders
Then who are we to give orders
Neither the river denies nor the air modifies
To be distributed for living lives
Are we not the same
Just ‘ Refugee ‘ not given the name
Running with inevitable fear
For revival and survival far and near
We too are Refugees
With accessories and attire
But shattered desires
Then why not hold together hands
With kinship and humanity on this land
Holding each the torch of love
Let us eliminate this apogee
Of caste, colour and creed
Class religion and breed
To have no more REFUGEE.
A quiver alike in heart
dew drops in corner of eyes
a turbulent mind with hopes dying
destination obscure and dead dreams
refugee in a foreign land
not an easy life to live
refused soul in body of vague nationality
Akin thousands of fellow countrymen
as sufferers of ill fate
dumped they are in disdain
for stubborn delirium of few
not the fault of their own
still they are victims of vicissitude
from their own life they are disowned
opted to take refuge
just to escape the darkest conflict of their own
in search of light to live and to survive
But light is a mirage
shackled every wish and
always in cross hairs
even a single movement and
a little motion can be fatal
as a deadly despair
Lonely childhood …in desperation is youth
desolated old age…freedom is caged
uncertain days and nights
in an ageless plight
refugee is the sign of inhumane in rise
and of depleting sensibility
a firm slap on the face of humanity
He is Just a Kid
His silent nights are pierced by the memories of bullet sounds
His wings bear the burden of loss of identity
The vision of an infant sucking at dead mother’s breast
Haunts him incessantly
Even the air he inhales
Brings the stench of dead bodies
It seems his life is given in installments
Having lost his parents and siblings
He has reached a new shore
Boat was kind enough to accommodate them
But the ocean was ruthless to see people sink and die
This orphaned child knows
Nothing about the dividers of mankind
The treacherous evil hearted terrorists inflicting poison of hatred in the innocent hearts
In the name of culture , religion and past histories
Still life gets tough on him
The venom and disgust of men sear him
They know not how his parents died
How his siblings yelled when toys were blown away
How their playground was destroyed
How he copes with his lifeless life
How it feels when there’s nowhere to go
When there’s nobody to care
He needs someone to pacify the horror in his eyes
To comfort with a hug when he trembles with pain
That much humanity should still be there
Don’t turn him away
He is just a kid
Who can’t understand the war of greed
Allow him to breathe his dreams
Let him grow to be a compassionate man !!
The Night is not too Long
At the edge of the river
close to Eden
where God had made Paradise
he paused near the banks of
the River Euphrates,
bent down and saw
his reflection floating on
the forgotten waters
in a forgotten city,
the river boiled and steamed
in the names of those
who left one another.
Seeing blood in the clouds
he returned to the abyss
and found himself rolling from
Hermon mountain to
Zaatari refugee camps
where time halted in a void.
One day he saw fabulous eagles
in the skies playing with
the smoke which rose
turning his heart into
a hoopoe amidst chaos
he heard the voice of sunflower,
a reminder that beauty
still exists and the heart would
know the way to sweet home,
peace and love will prevail and
Utopia will come true one day !
Dedicated to the Syrian Refugees
The Saintly Refugees
Here come the saintly refugees.
will they walk at night?
The wish of God made them mad.
Aren’t we sad?
They are the refugees of time.
But they are not.
Time has slapped their fate.
That is the wish of God!
That is the wish of God!
A call for Humanity
Militants resort to bombardment
Terror tramps on corpses innocent
Murder, rape, forcible displacement
Suffocating shrieks of helplessness
Hunger drives sane to act insane
Snatching morsels from hands in disdain
Haunted houses, skeletons of dead stack
Surviving ghosts flee inhumane acts
Homeless victims, orphans thousands
Crammed dinghies sail for strange asylums
Airless cattle trucks replete, strangling breaths
Bloodstained barbed wires on borders raze
To survive, limits of lands they cross
Refugees with parents from lands lost
Breathing alien air, parched, stinking sweat
Far from homeland, new fate awaits
For this nightmare what wrong have I done
Don’t hit me, please treat me as human
Cries a man crossing at Turkey’s shore
In lap a maimed child, dead wife at home
I will work hard to pay for my breath
For my child I’m the only hope left
Have mercy and let us live in peace
Need compassion, no burden we’ll be
A tiny tot with blood stains, limbless
Devoid of senses staring helpless
Silently screams to world with a plea
I’m worth being loved, please hug me, love me
Syria calls out to humanity
Hear their call for refuge timely
Where it is Safe?
Where is it safe
They are coming
Destroying your lives
Armed with religion
For God is on their side.
They kill on sight.
You must find shelter
East, west, north, south
It doesn’t matter
Getting away to safety
There must be a way
You have to flee anew
Again and again
For there is no respite.
It can’t be worse
Let’s go to the end of the earth
Take a boat to the last continent
People are made hateful
They’re afraid of you
Nobody wants you.
Manaus welcomes you:
Here lose all hope,
You entering this camp,
Torture and death await you
You feared for your life
Now fear for your Soul.
©Lucette C. Bailliet
The mustard gas had swallowed
My independence and identity
I was a tree with roots withered
As my survival had no indemnity.
My children now speak of moving
Into other countries
My own country had abandoned me then.
The barbwires which divided lands
United us into a pool of homeless brothers.
Our shoulders did not tire, we even ate fire.
Hunger was not a feeling
It was a chronic disease we dealt with everyday.
To calm the gastric juice
We even ate mire.
I have a name now,
I had paid the price for being free.
I had travelled myriad roads without a name.
Now I must rest
Now I have my tired feet and
Wardust-clogged lungs to tame.
Yes I was nameless, I was rudderless.
I was the roach crawling over humanity’s mess.
To survive was my passion.
I was not a denizen of my town.
I was a citizen of the world
When the world conspired to make my freedom
©Niladri Ranjit Chakraborty
I left behind
a chunk of what I call ‘mine,’
wrapped in the warmth of a ‘home’,
now ,no more.
The inviting smell of falafel
in pita bread
and pickles and tahina
wafting from our kitchen,
and the sunny porch
leading to a small garden,
Mama’s favourite plum trees
around which we played,
Adnan ,Reem and me,
now ,no more.
I left behind
mangled strewn hands and legs ,
still bulging eyes,
warmth of flesh
gushing out on the debris,
as mama and I ran across
the streets-witness to human history,
— still clinging to life,
still breathing —
joining other battered lives
under a different sky,
though now a lesser identity-
now, a refugee.
A peaceful white pigeon
Sobbing in the grey dungeon of salty pessimism
Born in the green forest
Crowned as a blessed creature
Ready to flourish etching a humane feature
One night a brutal fowler came with a foolproof plan
Heartlessly captivated all the birds
Their screams were inaudible
to the merciless ears
Took them away to a far away land
The spirit stayed behind
Body was forced to painfully grind
Found an abode in the zoo
Where he had to earn bread having no clue
Amongst the various species he felt left out
Was named a unique so called dumb nestling
Prediction of a living slave
Freedom buried in grave
The wings rest in peace
Destined to flow with the unwanted clutched wave!!
©Megha Sumant Sharma
A Better Human Being
Let me not entertain
Thoughts of war
The poet in me
Has no similes
For war and destruction
The pages of dictionaries
When the Devil plays
A godless world
Bulging eyes, black;
Flap the ocean wings
To caw the bony carcass
Clawing skin rut
White over white
Wind too turned its course,
churning the storm
As I shudder my spine
Replete with death
Facing, upside down
I dolt like a mad man
As ebullience dries,
Lapping ocean corpse
Racing the unseen
Death after death
I float away my homeland
To a distant refuge
Sans my earthy roots;
A refugee by land, water and earth
To a distant land of unbroken silence
Dark dust and patches of blood
All through these vast lands.
With freezing desires
And diminishing boundaries.
Blood, so full of redness
Covering these ruthless boundaries.
Acting as a cursed
Which folds the fluttering wings.
The dusty, patchy and red blood in my hand
Mixing efficiently with diseased dust.
Slowly slips onto these boundaries
Making the boundaries vanish!
The Asylums vanishing fast,
Wartime innocent victims tortured to the roost,
Sneaking through the bordering fences,
When fanatics struck offence,
Everyone boarded the boat of hope,
The Syrian Refugees little did know the nope,
Destiny had written a different story,
The rescue boats sinks to the abyss of watery grave,
Ailan Kudi slept into eternity,
In seconds life crossed the barriers of Death,
The world in total shock to tragic end,
The end shattering the backbone of faith,
Wars always wrote havoc stories,
The gory incident writing immeasurable miseries,
In relief camps flooding refugees,
Each opening a new saga of agonies,
Surviving from the imminent jaws of Death,
Rushing into the multitude in lost faith,
Sealed trucks escaping life to safety,
Locked doors opening the mass death,
Death in suffocation,
Oxygen going redundant in pain,
Souls in ransom accepting abnegation,
Surrender to the calamity in fearful embrace,
Surrender to the situation written by the race,
Humanity in crucifix at the crossroads,
Bloodthirsty humans forget brotherhood
©Akshaya Kumar Das
She asked the surging waters
News of her home…now in tatters
This river she knew so well
As it had giggled past her dwell
Now heavy with decomposed load
Burdened angrily it flowed
Turning red now and then
Quizzing every how and when
Crossing boundaries without pain
Mapping countries without gain
Flowing peacefully till its end
Nothing broken nothing to mend
She asked the scurrying gusts of gale
What news it brought of her dwell
Once it had enveloped her familial bliss
Till separated by staccato boom of shell’s whizz
Then it had blown clear and blossom scented
Reeks it now of putrid flesh tangled and tormented
Her forlorn eyes scan far off
Where lofty mountains ice cap doff
Even the kites have forsaken to fly
Over burning speckled distant sky
Her sunken eyes foresee a dream
A united world without any seams
A world that is not fragmented wide
Of fleeing humans on either side …
They escaped from their country because of war
Forced to stay here, they are so far
They are so far from their home land
They come here with empty hand
Despondency showers upon them
Who will come to support them?
Remember their home with full of tears
In their eyes there is no cheers
On their faces what is there?
No it is not happiness it is fear
They called as refugee not by their name
Oh! Brutal you should be shame
They lost their name they lost their fame
Who is responsible for this?
Who played this game?
Now they live aimless lives
But sweet memories of their homeland, hold them tight.
Rolling tears on their cheeks
Telling the story how they teased
Something new they have to seek.
Let’s support them to start new lives
Let their lives shine bright
Asylum seeker without stickers.
Struggling to survive with mouth speakers.
Clamoring for a new home, just to flee from the old home.
The world’s biggest refugee hosting country – Turkey with 2.7 million Syria refugees.
Pakistan – second with 1.6 million Afghan refugees.
Still looking for the root of the escapees.
Fear of political persecution.
Fear of religious persecution.
Fear of ethnic persecution.
Fleeing most to the neighboring countries.
Pity the children.
Killing like a fat hen.
Pity their parents.
For having much patience.
People lost their life, on their way to cross the border.
Syrians moving to Turkey for their life.
Afghans running to Pakistan to escape murder.
With a pitiful mind.
Tears rolled down my cheeks from my dull eyes.
Oh what a pity! escaped from my lips, when I saw people swimming in pools of blood.
They were asylum seekers.
Now granted refugee status.
With the help of you and I.
the home I knew
the paths knew me
the walls knew
the corners kept me hidden
the shopkeeper knew
the outstretched palm
the hand ruffling my hair
the unseen pulling me from danger
the child’s little brain knew
the love and affection only
the loving hands one day were
the killing hands next day
the night he was bundled from
the house he knew
the child in him was no more
the savage in him took birth
the revenge seeds got sown
the refugee wanted his home back.
At 3 years of age, blithe and adorable I was!
Like a child from any corner of the world.
Happiness was my engagement and frolicking was my trade
My impish smile lit up the tiny house,
Carried chocolates & on Sundays gorged on cakes!
Aylan Kurdi was my name!
Knew not what war was, why nations fought?
And why my sun-kissed date fields were razed?
With my pockets jingling with coins, and a heart full of prayer
I strutted like the richest in the market alleys!
You said they squabbled over Gods and money
Perhaps they knew Gods better and greater were their needs!
Under the azure sky, into the blue sea we set sail,
Faces grew pale and smile fused into pain,
Bordering on hope and fear, the nostalgic migrant bid adieu,
To forefather’s land, and bolted abodes!
Pointing across the mighty sea, you showed us the Promised Land
Father! With brimming eyes and quivering lips you said “Very soon”!
Life on land unforgiving, now the sea betrayed
Cursed was my journey, and doomed were our fate
Father! You battled relentlessly & fiercely
Merciless waves snatched us one after another
The sea became a death bed and your helpless cries shook the overcast sky
Not a blood was splattered, yet the blue turned red!
Weep not, O father! For I have reached the final shores
And with my sinless nimble hands, I knock on Heaven’s door!
“Very soon”, I will have my recompense and in measure full
When deviant sons of Adam will be brought to book and consigned to flames!
Falling onto the robes of the divine, my sparkling tears will not go in vain
Beware! For the justice of the Supreme descends!
©Shaharyaar Kamaal Siddiqui
Most painful question of all,
“Where do you hail from?”
I remember a place with no name,
No land, No shore,
Just memory of a smell
of rotting, decaying, naked limbs
of daughters, sons,
buried in womb of soil,
that was once our home,
“But where do you hail from?” Persist they,
I think and mumble,
“We slipped from hands of Time”
The Fallen Leaves
These words: the great Nouns.
They tag them; diminutives
Pronouns and bad Adjectives in their domains
But never, main Verbs
And remained abandoned Auxiliaries.
They are structured in themselves
With cells, organs and systems.
Letters with voice of vowels.
But de-structured within
Its structures in the passages
On their pale innocent respects.
Times and spaces spat them.
Now, the-These Words
Turned into Those: circumstances
They are made structure less
Within the same anatomy,
With the same history of pedigree,
Only the facets difference.
The way of writing on them variance
This Land is there – the witness.
Now, That words; the sea
The oysters in themselves
The molding pearls
The supernova, digits and lines.
To see them, needs a new spectacles.
This century, to that great Words
No Ism could hold of them; the dignity
Now a slang, a cliché
A catchphrase, and the cash for some.
Now, The border crossings: The Refugees
Just a Refugee
When I close my eyes, crumpled in a heap,
In this neglected yet seemingly safer drainpipe,
I dare say, I still have some dreams lurking in my eyelids, a-n-d
And they aren’t coal black like my fate, or my face that has recently been a battle plain of emotions…
THEY SHINE LIKE SOME WHITE PEARLS IN THE SUNSHINE!!!
When I would be overcome with drowsiness a-n-d call mommy to drop things in hand and put me to sleep first…
… she would call out from the kitchen…
‘Just coming my love! By then have your Teddy in your arms…’ and smile that angelic smile.
Oh Teddy! You saw that bomb blast too!
How come you contrived to stand by me…
than giving in to the angry flames?
Thank God! Mommy taught me the trick to sleep!
They call me, not by my name, anymore.
Like you did Dad!
Never heard the word before…they call me by… REFUGEE.
I no more wait for you Dad to return from work.
No more do I call mom to put me to sleep.
See…I live without you. I’m a grown up…p-e-r-h-a-p-s…
Or… I’m nothing.
Just a REFUGEE.
How would you know
How it feels
Every day every moment
As an outsider
An outsider to your own skin.
Reality a faraway illusion
No this can not be real
This pall of hopeless despair
This is a cloud of disbelief.
How does one feel whole again?
One’s dignity regain?
Every effort goes in vain.
This is but a life of shame.
Distant dreams of green meadows
In a land that was once mine
Belonged to it
I was whole then
I am not a shadow
On the patch
I am sliced into pieces
My heart strewn over
My precious land
While my body
Has dragged itself here
I am a lonesome migrating bird
Flying above the sky
I hear the musical chord
At every chance I can’t dance
To the beat of sitar,
To the rhythm of guitar
To the tick-tick of clock
To the tabla’s melody
I just float on to the symphony
I hear the lyricist’s harmony,
the melody and comedy
As sarcastic life of mine dipped in tragedy.
I know where it comes from
Again I feel lonesome.
When I hear the Shehnai’s tune
Trumpet’s evergreen perfume,
Tunes and pitches of
Dholak, Sarod, Violin and Mridanga
But my thirsty heart quivers in no man’s land ,a panic-stricken desert
I lose the root
For my fatigued foot.
I am a migrant
An unknown history
I am able to bear up with penury
Far away from luxury
On rough ridden road
I am a forgettable story.
©Deepak Kumar Dey
When the road ahead starts
to be strange and
intimations of unfamiliarity becomes involable,
know that life is amiss.
Repudiating the reality
with trepidation can
only postpone the inevitable.
Life holds the aces and it
can turn anyone into a stranger.
Reason goes for a toss
and none is immune
to the designs of life
at no time and that’s the only
reality albeit incomprehensible.
When one becomes a refugee
with redundance scything
through cultivated notions
of inflated self.
A refugee is born in the world.
Aching reality it is, but
then life holds the aces,
the tugs that sway us.
Being an alien in this world
a disaster undecipherable.
Refugees are here, there
and everywhere, knowingly and unknowingly, wandering along striving to find one’s being to
cease to be a refugee in the world.
In the air, dissolved is the silence of partial prejudices.
The odor of decomposed bodies, harnessed by depraved powers, stroll in madness.
Mockingly hung, the map of the world in this cramped and trampled world
The portrait of roses is as vague as the dream of peace in this world.
The ashes are blown, higher and higher, taking the scars of persecution.
Punishment of flawless innocents, regardless, incessantly carrying the burden
Robbed off nectar, the withered daffodils are transported to a foreign shore.
Heedless; their prayers, enslaved or hunted; are chained to a wild boar.
Unaware, the inhabitants are caressed or colonized as per plotted, as per commanded.
The puppets woven to work at the will, of serpentine minds that are always undaunted
Nevertheless, the enlightened ray toes the land of night, it brightens.
But the tricksters trick steals the light, planting the seed of fear that frightens.
With the immortal rivers flood their bank, the wine outpoured with half-burnt pyres,
A game of hide and seek and chase, the insane rush to live among liars.
The thorny strings bordered and gulfed, killing the land and her beloved sons.
The zest burgeons, undivided in uniting and pulling off the bars.
The frantic child prances wild in the forest with chipmunks, so divine!
But falls prey to the fratchy Kings, swallowing in quicksand that sparkles in shine.
He can climb up cliffs; swim the ocean, if You be there, O, My Lord!
He can rise and shine at the peak of Everest if You support him on this road.
He can skate through the fall of glacial balls, stop the avalanche of catacomb.
He can remove the curtailing curtains, blindfolds, to wreath the song of a Diaspora’s womb.
I beg You, Almighty! I beg to Thee! Please cometh with the sun of Knowledge.
Let in sunrays patter some wisdom on the decayed graves of lost “Coin-age”.
We were fugitives fleeing from a war
We did not ask for, and our sole sin
Was to be caught in the crossfire
Between the known enemy without
And the hidden enemy within:
We exiled ourselves from the land
We were born and brought up in.
Once defined by borders, we are now
Lost survivors bearing a vision
But buttressed by the belief that
History is with us and the relief
In the discovery that everyone
Was a refugee once who struggled
To build a future under a foreign sun.
Our numbers erase our ancient names
Though not the rhetoric of abuse
But mercy though dying is not dead
For there are those who ignore the surge
Of myths and bitterness breasting their shores
And haunted by the horror beyond the horizon
Offer asylum, opening their hearts and doors.
Survival of a Refugee
Crossing vast expanses of lands and seas,
We leave behind our motherland in utter despondency,
Cramped in small spaces in dingy boats or,
Packed like cattle in dark containers,
Holding our breaths tight with faint hope,
Counting days in constant fear,
Braving inhospitable situations days after days,
Passing unknown borders with broken memories,
Walking unknown territories with strangers in companionship!
Fleeing from the comforts of our familiar zones,
Ravaged now by envy, wrath and gruesome greed,
The constant bloody bath which we have seen,
Have left our souls shaken and our dreams now bleed,
Bodies soaked in red have turned black with disease,
Carcasses of our happy lives stripped apart and now stink…
That child/That girl/That mother/That father/That neighbour/That friend ,
Whom we had lost in terror and war,
Faces haunting of those whom we couldn’t save,
Dreadful looks of our perpetrators float in front of our eyes…
But still we march on with our ‘Seeds’ in hands and wombs!
We brace ourselves for the upcoming new innings,
Struggles and challenges which are thrown in our way,
However scary and daunting it might look at this stage,
We will paint our future bright once again!
Survival is now… our only strategy,
For which we seek asylum in foreign shores,
Refugees we are called in these distant lands,
Where in hope of a safer haven we migrate in huge flocks!
Beginning of our Life’s new journey, surely it will be!
from lands of our birth
from the homes we raised
we are chased and driven
our homes are gutted
our women are raped
our children are used
we run for our lives
we search for our future
with flickers of our hopes
our rights are nulled
our dwellings are tents
we turned as vagabonds
they laugh at us
some even mock our plight
as if we are aliens from no land
are we not humans
is this globe not ours
who is in charge of our lives
what crimes we did
what sins we committed
to chase us like this
from the soil of our own
from the homes we slept
our roots are plucked
our hearts are maligned
our spirits are tarnished
stop this massacre
show some compassion
we too are human
we too belong to you
©Raj Babu Gandham
Lovely are the streams join in to make a river …
Thoughts of detachment make me quiver …
Fallen are the leaves from that tall tree…
Loose their identity; belong nowhere …
Yes! We are refugees and this is our tale …
We hail from a paradise yet away from the trail
The temples the mosques are ours no more …
Our lanes and streets call us with roar …
Unsung our sacrifice; unaided we stay…
Looked down upon why are we; what may..
Thousands of words yet we chose to be mum …
Unaccepted we move with the dailies humdrum …
The bird that flies high up in the air …
Reminds of the time good when home was near …
Pathetic are our lives no sympathy at all…
Days pass together just staring blank wall…
The daily affront for bread and butter …
Threatened to life are we; told to not utter …
No life of our own we do have now …
Neither the natives nor make in new row …
Yes! We are refugees.
Let me explore my displaced feelings,
For here I sit, longingly, believing:
I am free!
So why then am I trapped in this cage,
Alone, spitting venomous with rage:
I am free?
My ancestors come from far away places,
They are a multitude of different races:
I am me!
Never do I know which banner to wave,
Less these colors I’ve sworn to stay slave:
I am free!
Many have come, but few have remained,
My brothers and sisters all know the pains:
We are sworn to be!
Never has a skin defined and honorable soul,
Nor has one color achieved its own goal:
We all shall see!
Mankind is not a land but an ocean,
Time is less a place than a notion:
And we all are refugees!
©Marshall G. Kent Sr.
Where is my Home?
Where is my home?
Is this my home now?
How can it be my home?
Living in a tent in dire conditions
Amongst many other refugees
With such little food to eat
Not enough blankets in this bitter cold
A four-year-old boy questions his father
His innocent little mind in turmoil
Why are we ousted from our own country?
Papa! You had said this is my country
Nobody can ever make you leave
When will I go back?
Will I ever go back?
I want to go back!
I want to go back to my home!
His father patiently replied
My boy these are hard times
And they will pass too
Don’t worry little one
Look there is a rainbow
Over the horizon
Life is still beautiful!
You have your mother brother & sister
To play with in the sun
Yes! My dear he answered sadly
One day some day
We will all go back Home!
57. O! My God, Why?
The baby boy sucked the breast
The sagging breast devoid of milk,
The only consolation being his mother’s lap
That betrays the finest silk,
His sky moves with him
In his mother’s arms,
The mother’s sky as bare as breast
Neither cools nor warms.
The hunger squeezed the remnant of life from the moisture of skin,
She longs for family’s cacophony that once irritated her kith and kin.
All shiny days have been sucked
Into the belly button of time,
The juice of life seeps through
The youthful skin once prime.
It’s a long stretched night pregnant with the grime of uncertainties,
That breathes darkness in almost all its niceties,
Refugee days, refugee nights and refugee lives
Would it ever come to an end howsoever one strives,
The endless sky, the outstretched land adorned by the fringe of sky
I don’t Want the vastness O God, I was happy in home confined.
The desirous eyes penetrate deep into the sky
And ask the Lord if only once O my God Why??
©Dr. Shaista Irshad
58. Rose the Wizard you Know
Rose the wizard you know
the one who must not be named
with army of soul-sucking dementors in rows
opposite to the silence spectators being blamed
He took out his wand – Partition’s wand
waved it on the globe with a spell
there it was cracks developed by his hand
sun wouldn’t set for him; but for rest it couldn’t rise, oh well!
In no time joined Horcruxes
from around the world
pain, suffering, blood baths, floating-drowning-burning bodies influx
without an orbit whole world swirled
Mudbloods terrified; flee fluttered
the dark force grew darker
Patronous stopped working; barely uttered
Shoah! mudbloods’ burning began; highlighted marker
Spell was too strong
created more cracks named Palestine- Is real?
Bloodbaths still continue – was it wrong?
India-Pakistan-Bangladesh formed; many more to come – Surreal!
Blind and blindfolds sat perplexed
Sanjay continued his narration
Came a voice flummoxed
‘People die all the time; these are only refused geez! Give us another yarn.’
Thought to himself- Some day this is all going to end, you know.
59. Prayer of an Immured Soul
Oh! Wintry Winds of the night,
Blowing in the woodlands of my memories,
Carry in thy silken arms,
Lingering aroma of my desires
Take them to the realm of her heart
Whisper in her breaths, the dulcet tones of my yearning
Reverberate my odes in her barren bosom
Howl my fervid prayer in the frozen valleys of her heart
Waft away the withering leaves of melancholy
Kindle the blazing flames of ardor
Parch away all her lovelorn tears
Liberate her from the crypt of my love
60. My Unwelcome Existence
I walk like a gypsy to the unknown lands
No roof is there, no walls to protect my alien self
Although I love the land where I was born
But I have no right to say ‘it’s mine’
I yearn to get a nation of my own
But, by the word native itself, I am disowned
I’m a stranger among the people I know
I am like a thorn which is unwelcomed in a plant
Flowers are desired so are the buds
Leaves too are liked but Alas!
Only I prick them it seems I do
Where to go? Where to hide?
How to get myself identified?
How to slit open my heart and show
I bear the same love for the place where I grew
I am forced to leave, I’m forced to die
As if I don’t breathe, my life’s a lie
I still move on with a hope in my heart
a day will come when I’ll be embraced by my country men with love that I deserve
61. New Horizon
Dots in a dozen
Displaced of their existence
Questioned about their origin
Left to walk astray
To miles unknown
Many faultless stars
But in that twilight,
Those dots were shining
Leaving a trail of hope
That someday they would be back in that galaxy
In the hindsight, they dwelled new dream
Against all odds
To create mark of their own
And not be cowed by the fear of borders
But these hopes need your support
Feed, shelter them specially many tiny ones
Let them swim over and fly the dreams they wish to fulfill
Like we do too
Coz even a tiny dot makes a significance
A fence more than a mountain
man between man?
boundaries between nations
Inhibits breath of oneness
that diminish humility
A disgraceful Parity?
A sadistic pleasure over rules
In the name of governance
A tsunami rages
For no fault they become
Destitute of diplomacy
Over a deserted hamlet
A sobbing community
Disowned the minimum
Shunted to the dead end
Of human atrocity.
A connecting link between
Primordial man and man
I just own a bit of my share
Of soil air and water
My legacy …that’s all
They call me refugee
A refuge? Of whose
Why at all …!?
Something is raining within
with water so salty
Ruining demonstration of
Dwelling between the dark clouds
The nimbus is fading away
The thunderbolt no more dazzles,
Seems everything is buried in mantels’ core
Nothing to vindicate between suffocation
Don’t blame the bleeding For the answers of untruth with torrential emotion
Howling within the brutal line of partition
Residual of togetherness weeps
in the cracks of division
Emotional tears of pain rages as
waves of ocean
The breeze is no more soothing
Love lost its meaning, Trust turned satire, blazing in fire
No allegations, faith turns poison
The heat within swallows all tear
Seems the character is an owl tonight
Eyes lacks all sleep and comfort
The refugee heart, inside is burning
Love lost passion only charcoal remaining.
64. The Goatherd of Timbuktu
As the sun finally went down behind the distant cliff
He started to walk his weary ways
He the goatherd…
And the flock of his favorite goats walked and ran
Before him, making shrill cries, homeward bound
The dust from their feet rose,
Just like a maze,
Enveloping the tiny huts not far away
Which looked like the refuge sought time and again by people like him…
The goatherd and his goats of varied color patches on their coats
White, grey, brown, black… The goatherd walked towards his hut
At the end of just another day
But he knows within
The next day will be a new one
The next day will bring him to another desert of Timbuktu
65. The Stranger
I was lost when I found the light
Drenched in my thoughts of my lonely life
I was wondering
Am I goanna die?
Then a man came to me and said:
“Child, what are you looking for?”
With a smile in His wrinkled face
I just stared at Him with curiosity
My mind was at storm in an infinite space
My tears fell to the ground just to realize it was raining.
He led me to the bus stop without saying a word
He waved goodbye while saying:
“I believe in you”
Then the world seemed to stop
It was the first time
The first time someone believed in me
The funny thing was
It was from a stranger
When I almost surrendered
He helped me see the light through the darkness I am in
He set me free
He helped me see the world as a better place to live
66. An Angel’s cry
pen inks … On future’s cry
tear drops… from angel’s eye
When bosoms cramp and sigh
A wish to leap on heaven’s high
With a broken wing, stands in pain
Soaked and dredged from every rain
Lost… locked out insane
A soul in deep disdain
Alone quivering, yet goes on seeking
On a shade… from a shadow, glaring
From within…inner whispers wonder
A wound bleeding, as mind does ponder
Still looks… In every glimpse of day
Comes empty… Like a sun’s dimming ray
Now an angel sent a moaning wail
To lift the spirit from a body’s frail
Consoling with tears and pains won’t be forever
For angels are never meant for this world to suffer
©Suzette Portes San Jose
67. Backstabbed by Tsunami
Wish that night would have never come
It feels hard to be here in such a shun
I didn’t want to design my state like this
Begging for help and money from every Mr. and Miss
Never thought that someday I will beg, borrow and steal
I was the master of luxuries in my motherland
But now my personality is shattered in foreign sand
I remember the nightmare of tsunami every night
Still trying to end that endless fight
This tragedy has made me realize one thing at the start
Always acknowledge and love every one by your heart
The people I considered low stand high today
It is the end of my life but the start of their day
My memories will never fade which I earned in my land
I may be alone inside but many extend a helping hand
I am trying to adjust and live with what I got
I cannot make money like before, in a single shot
I have to consider this as my second chance of life
Saved everyone in tsunami except my beloved wife
Her absence is killing me in this refugee camp
Remembering her pink dress blood stained on the ramp
Will live my life here for the endless time
Got nothing now whom I can call mine
©Pulkit Mohan Singla
68. Miss my Land
Miss you every time I see you on the globe
I know in getting back, there is no scope
I never liked you earlier the way I like you now
I Miss those green escapes and those abundant cows
Although you were my land and my very own place
But I cannot come back now in this divested phase
Living in this foreign land seems very hard
But government hasn’t given me a place on the card
It feels suffocating to be hanging in between
I don’t know what colour scenery God is painting for my scene
If I have ever been aware about the fate I am living today
Would have lived like a master in your arms the entire day
I cannot do anything in this foreign land
Cannot even feel the wind and smell your rainy sand
This life will end like this in the unstoppable wait
Destiny has planned this for me which I will always hate
©Dr. Prerna Singla
69. Rugged Refugee
Nestled among the woods
the countryside along the boarder
between the counties
has serenity of peace and amicability
in hearts of the people
rooted to the soil.
Just down the heaven on the earth
some, once forced to flee
evicted from their joyous haven
take refuge and shelter
in a haunted camp
and breathe in constant fear
of the mad men in arms
that don’t know the language
blind to social harmony;
while those in refugee camps do know
love, fellow feeling and patriotism
as they keep exercising their sensibility
to feel the essence of humanity.
Trauma and agonising pain aside,
their life line is quite akin
to that of the cities or of rest
of the people, huddled
for they know how to live their life
even to the face of death
always hovering around them
in the disguise of starvation,
dehumanising and cruel treatment
usually meted out to them
in their own land of the country…
@Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar
70. It’s just you who call
I am as much human,
As you are.
And I belong to this world,
With you at par.
That differs me from you,
Is a home of my own.
You have it and I don’t.
Let me take you in the years past,
When I had a home too,
Beautiful, lovely and vast.
And it is you, for power and greed,
Who robbed, that home from me?
And look at your plight now,
It is you, who call me a refugee.
71. Listen to me
My subconscious irritates me
A child upside down at a beach
Or in the lap of a shipper
Dead and abandoned.
Jhelum has not spoken to me too
The mountains haven’t shown its bright side
Still reeling under the spell of doom
Oh! Am I seeking asylum in the pall of gloom?
Conflicts have taken its toll
World society acts bizarre
Dignity, honour and survival at stake
Perpetrators have their own cake.
Hounded, threatened and forced to flee
Shores don’t help ethnic cleansing to endure
Yet I am looking upto the community
Saving some grace for humanity.
Ah! I do have become vulnerable
Hope yet brings some respite
Wake up, wake up to humanitarian tragedy
Let you cultivate some international solidarity.
Visible becomes the scars on humanity
Refugees, humans too and belong to humanity
Dawn does not wait for darkness to flee
Let vision empowers all to make life easy
Let the peace, love, brotherhood spread positivity
Let me not feel totally abandoned
Listen to me! Listen to me!
O! World community.
72. The Human Nomad
Root is for the womb to trace
Our of belongingness always for the whole of the earth
Buried with in us are the aboriginals
We are the human nomads!
We are the globalised world
Uprooted, some sort of lumpen existence all that we have
Bodies hanged somewhere, we hang somewhere our shirts
Hopping from pillar to post
Our shoes are from the amazon, clocks are from the flip cart
Is it our fault that the planet is in the hit list of terrorists and the threat of a nuclear war looming large
Capitalism making inroads in to newer lands and newer skies
Is it our fault that men are becoming malls and
‘Industrial reserve army’ is increasing fast
Are we not all in a sense refugees to a neo-colonial world?
Let us think globally
Let us act globally
Let us come to the nest like birds hovering around many a skies
Let us habituate sharing one earth!
©Dr. Prahallad Satapathy
Pix from Net.