Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Nowhere to hide

The slap of waves on the boat's side
As now the wind blew as night fell
Fourth day at sea with nowhere to hide

Except when the sea was unkind
And sprayed us all with its wet kiss
O land, land just where are you to find?

Last night another baby dies
But the mother still holds him tight
When she gives him up, all day she cries

Our water is running so short
But one sip in morning and night
Just how long before we reach a port?

How bad was life before this?
That makes us suffer hell at sea
The first sandy shoreline I will kiss

It's dark but lights are seen far off
So we head that way full of hope
But my mother now has a bad cough

We arrive at a cove near a port
And soon are discovered there
But too late our landing to abort

So we are herded in buses
Just how comfy the seats they feel
We're so quiet nobody cusses

I smile at my little brother
His eyes all agog at this place
And mother with us all together

Image found at


  1. I like the way you have put yourself in the place of the displaced, and how your poem ends on a note of childish wonder.

  2. This is heartbreaking yet there's a streak of hope in the child's vision. beautiful.

  3. At least they did not drown at sea like so many of them. Terrible situation.Good poem.

  4. I am in tears. To be in the boat with them! Why have I never tried that before? My empathy was incomplete, external. Bless you for this amazing poem.

  5. amazing poem... heart break with hope.. the struggle was brought alive with your words

  6. Robin, this touches my heart - the thought of what terror people flee, enduring such a dangerous passage in the hope of something better. I do hope they find it. The woman whose baby died is especially moving.

  7. Isn't it horrible that these migrations need to happen at all... that all people can't live the lives they want and aspire for in their own land, in their own homes. Heartbreaking.

  8. Oh, and what awaits them then? Huge refugee camps? Detention centres? Some do survive their tragedies; I wish it could be so for all. A poignant telling, Robin.

  9. The sad story here is very vivid and well written. It makes me wonder what will happen to them.

  10. I love the oxymoron in the lines:
    'Except when the sea was unkind
    And sprayed us all with its wet kiss'
    and the emotion in the poem, such a sad story with a vision of hope at the end.

  11. The second verse is my favourite, imagery and voice

    much love...

  12. I think I commented, Robin, but don't see it now. Hugs!

  13. How sad when people need to flee their homeland - to find safety elsewhere, in some cases only to find a 'prison' and fear lives on...
    Thank you for sharing your words.