The seas are mined
With refugees
Their stories filled with history.
Sardine-like in the rocking boats
The exiles mouthing
Words of hope
“Land Ahoy!” they cry
Not then
When Grandpa his Sicilia left
And found an Irish wife
Who famine left
To live in Gravesend.

A Pogrom in a boat
A ship of fools from Cuba’s coast
A liner of Latinos.
“Come to me” hails Liberty.
A country built on
Exiles’ dreams
Has grown fat and arrogant.
It’s ghettos isolate
Their fears
Till jets come screaming in their ears
“Take that and that and that and that”.

Across the world
The refugees
Forsake their sandy rocks
For blackened seas
And turn away from family foes
Who zapped for ever the American dream.

There is no liberty in Australia
as they wait and congregate
in a laden frigate.
In the land of Dante
and Yeats
poems die.
frightened birds
with rounded backs
pray quietly
in rows on deck
the sun comes down
a knife in the neck
of thrushes
on the rich man's plate.

The hungry ocean waits
as they sit imagining
on alien shores,
dreams lost
on the tide not
taking them to a country
built by strangers
who also came in boats,
a race familiar to Yeats.

"For poetry makes nothing happen" from
'In Memory of W B Yeats' by W H Auden

Pamela Hardyment © 2016

From the book of poetry Dancing Alone available from Amazon

Charity for Peace in the Middle East