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Mohammed Arafat Dec 2018
I came from a beautiful place,
Full of trees of olives and oranges,
A running river and golden beach.
From north to south and east to west.
We had our own land,
a spacious house.
animals for food and milk.
I was a poet,
my sister an engineer,
my brother a doctor.
My parents owned a business,
And my mom was pregnant;
she wanted twins,
a boy and a girl.
I loved my country.
We lived in peace.
Until the hatred spread:
of my family,
my religion,
the way we talked.
We were unwanted.
They knocked down the door of my family’s home
and “disappeared” my father and brother.
My mother aborted the twins for whom she hoped.
I tried to protect my sister from ****,
but I couldn’t.
How cowardly I was!
We decided to leave, to flee.
Like thousands, we walked toward a mirage,
a dream of a better life.
My mother could barely walk,
my sister lost in her personal pain.
Only cacti, heat and sun for miles:
We crossed rivers and deserts.
mountains, hills and valleys.
Smugglers awaited us at the border,
demanding thousands to pass to a safe place.
“If you don’t pay, you die!”
What lay ahead we did not know.
But I knew no place could be better
than where I was born.

Mohammed Arafat
This poems talks about the refugees forced to leave their homelands.
you listen to what passes for the TV news
you read some
but not all
of social media views
you notice that
despite all internationalism
it‘s mostly old sensationalism
combined with more or less suggestive speculations about
how many people may have died in forest fires
to what imaginable depths the president aspires
whether the North Koreans have more rockets
     despite the wonderful achievements
     of the national superdealer
who of the leader‘s staff might be the next
      to lose her job or his credentials
etc. etc.

in short
the world has mostly shrunk
to domestic politics and power games
plus a few places on the globe where
U.S. soldiers still are dying
     in order to protect their country‘s interests
     in oil, assorted mineral resources
     or allies of political expedience
or a few thousand refugees from countries plagued
      by persecution or dictators are
      marching for weeks to claim asylum
           in the home of the brave and the free
           under the statue of liberty
     only to discover that they are seen
     as an invasion threatening
            that blesséd city upon a hill

visions have grown smaller
more petty voices dominate the talk

a nation made of immigrants
faced with the poor who flee from their oppressors
decides to close its borders to the immigrants‘ next wave
oblivious of the times when they themselves
still searching for a better life
found a new place where they felt safe
led by the statue‘s torch that shone its light
upon a poet‘s words of welcome:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The last stanza is a quote from the poem „The New Colossus“ by Emma Lazarus, written in 1883. - For more information, check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Colossus
years back we were defined by the color of our skin

we thought it ended with all the martyrs who died for a better world

millions think the very earth we are destroying is utopia

everything filtered by a sole lens

only showing what they want us to see

when millions die simply to end up as a statistic

names?

faces?

no.

numbers.
Bella Tanner Sep 2018
A little girl holds her mother’s hand,
As they walk through the city,
With hours passing by like the cars in the street,
Mother and daughter make their way through
The afternoon bustle
Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters,
All living.

The little girl sees everything around her,
Many things she doesn’t understand
Like why that man is screaming at his beloved,
Or why that woman covers her beautiful hair
While she is outside buying groceries.
She wonders if she, too will live like that.
But the crowd screams like tortured cattle
As a tall thing in black,
Rips open its jacket, and screams those words.
It’s too late to run,
Was this her fate?

The little girl wakes up, looking at a half sky,
Now partially blind.
Smoke fumes curl like an angry cat’s tail,
She can hear screams of, “Help! Help me!”
Ringing ears, like a nonstop telephone.
But at least she can hear.
The man that was screaming at his wife,
Now holds her, dead, screaming to trade his life.
The woman buying groceries
Is most likely dead,
The once tall building is now rubble,
Dust rests around the crumbled store.

The little girl sits in a camp with strangers,
Her home behind her, and a lamp lighting a new path.
Her mother is in a body bag,
Among many others back in that street.
The shadows whisper.
Peter Balkus Sep 2018
Small, inflatable dingy
is a very popular thingy
nowadays.
Temporal Fugue Aug 2018
All the band-aids used
sutures and stitches sewed
bandages and crutches too
blood and tears, that flowed

Massive the damage done
in the battle's aftermath
not to some, or just one
buildings crumbled on the path

We'll drag our dead and wounded
from the rubble and decay
rescue those who're stranded
or couldn't run away

Everybody knows the expense
of poets gone too war
words fired in offense/defense
in the end, wondering
what for?
:(
We all know again will be
the volleys and barrage
words and lines, you and me
prose reloaded awaiting the call
to charge
Graff1980 Jul 2018
People move
in fear,
migrating from
the dangerous militia
chasing them
with death’s gleam
in their eyes,
fathers carry
their daughter,
mothers urge
their sons
to move on
as miles pass.

Strangers
and
family members
are tightly packed
and stacked on top
of one another
as a world of choppy water
moves them forward
to a harbor they hope
is safer than the home
that they ran from.

Thin tired faces
hungry and anxious
hoping to escape this
nightmare,
easily inches from death,
move to march
across soft lands
and desert sands
seeking something
us soft bellied
cheeseburger
loving sedentary
men and woman
could not comprehend.

I hear the horrible hate speech
screeching out at me,
beer bellies bulging dangerously
with prechewed stupidity
denying the humanity
of these struggling human beings.
Tears of strained patience
crease my age lined face
as I try to explain
the reality of another being
who is suffering.

My peers do not hear me
instead they promote fear greedily,
But I see some strangers
holding up signs of love
speaking the same truth
that I eschew
to show all of you
that refugees do not walk
without a reason,
and we have enough resources
to be decent human beings.
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