Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Refugees--A whole lot of people are crying, Lord

Politicians in this country are jockeying for power--trying to upstage Donald Trump (it isn't working). And people are pouring zillions of dollars into this political campaign. Across the world in Europe I hope you have seen the pictures and studied the faces of all those refugees that are looking for a place of safety.

Amy Butler, talented Senior Minister of the Riverside Church, NYC has a fine blog worth reading, Talk With the Preacher. On September 7th she wrote a response to the Refugee crisis which is utterly heart breaking. She chose her focus by sharing a poem by a Kenyan-born, Somali poet, Warsan Shire. Read it and weep.

Photo courtesy of UN / flickr
"no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought ofd doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.
you have to understand
that no one puts his children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
photo by Frank Keillor / flickr
or strip searches where you
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
\no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll of your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
photo courtesy of UN / flickr
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
\to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be under
forget pride
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i don't know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here"

                                      --Roger Lovette /

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