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Julia Barrell Aug 23
“Stranded Strangers”

The life raft rocked from one
Careless wave to another,
As I drowsily lay
On the damp floor and ponder,
Helplessly holding
My heavy, eternal sin.
My sin of originating in a country
Careless of my life expectancy.
My sin of coming from a country
Where it’s illegal to be free.
My sin of fleeing a country
Where war rages on every street.
My sin of not belonging to a family
That could spare me from this barbarity.
So I ran.
I ran with
my bare soles
to the shore,
with the hope
that this boat
Would save me.
From the inhumanity.
But the indifferent sea
Will not guarantee
A secure journey.
Still,
This isn’t a sacrifice for me.
For my country ruthlessly robbed
Everything that was of value to me.
My family and my identity.  

But I’m afraid.
Much more than you will ever be
Of me. You see,
I have no power.
I can’t chose my future,
Like you chose to shoot our heads,
Like you chose to turn your head,
When you see us drowning at sea,
Land only meters ahead.
Yes I am afraid.
That no one will set us free
From this strangling tyranny.
You know it’s a bleeding tragedy,
But you turn your head,
And shoot our heads,
And deny. Dare deny
This clandestine genocide.

So I float between countries,
Balancing on cold water,
A stranded stranger
Begging to belong.

Millions of hefty diamonds
In the deadly silent nightfall
Are scattered on the unreachable  
Celestial crown.
They look down
on us with disdain,
All proud and pretentious.
Mocking
My muddy skin,
My blistered soles,
My ragged clothes,
My ruffled hair,
My hollow cheeks.
As if to remind me,
Of the riches I’ll never see,
Of the happiness I’ll never feel,
Of  the safety I’ll never get,
Of the home I’ll never have,
Again.

So dear cherished official,
I am a stranded stranger.
You could easily be me.
But I’ll never be you anymore.

‘Cause I’m Discomfort, and you’re Warmth.
I’m Sorrow, and you’re Hope.
I’m Fear, and you’re Peace.
I’m Servitude, and you’re Freedom.
But I’m also a Crisis, and you’re also Ignorance.
Because I am Muhammad Gulzar, and you are a Greek official.

So I float between countries,
Balancing on cold water,
A stranded stranger
Begging to belong.

All this to say, I’ll never be safe from here on,  
No matter where I run,
They only care ‘bout where I come from.
A burden I got no control upon.
Rooted before I could even say “Mum”,
Why do we run? On and on?

Why do such meager differences
Develop colossal separation,
An impenetrable iron wall
Between Us and Them?
Why are you more worthy
Because you stand on the other side of the sea?

I wondered who, over there,
Understood the horrors we saw,
When they don’t seem to  know more
Than what the dividers of mankind
Instilled in their minds,
To form such cruel people.
Do we have to be rivals?
Just tell me your cause!
Is it because fate willed me to be born
On the other side of the wall?
And is it because fate willed me
To have a different complexion?
And is it because of my weird religion?
Oh, you think I don’t know your intention?

I’m a victim of the imperialist wars
To control oils, and other raw materials.
You exploited, oppressed and devastated my land
Simply to expand your sphere of command.
Where are your morals?

You western imperialists
Bear a decisive responsibility.
And I will not cross you off my list
Until you have done your duty.

Greek officials robbed and beat 30 migrants yesterday.
1000 others were abandoned off Greece’s bay.
And 8300 are gonna be thrown away
From their homes in greece. Did you hear?
Boris.J wants to legalise sending away
Refugees who reach the UK.
But today, I want to see you change your twisted ways.

But today, my last handful of air
Was taken away.
My body’s too bony
To hold a head so heavy.
I collapsed into the cold sea.
Weighted thoughts dragged me.
Sinking into eternity,
I did not dare to break free.
I was finally reaching Heaven
To join my long lost family.
There at least I would belong,
It had ached too much and too long
To to be abandoned by a world,
Drifting from country to country,
Begging to belong.

‘Cause you stuffed your words into my mouth
Since as long as I can recall.
There was no space for my own.
So they scratched my throat
As they tried to climb up
Desperately reaching for the door,
Ready to inform you
How much it wounds
To be nothing,
To be a phantom figure,
Worse, to be a number.
But they never get to the exit.
And time turns them
Into a bitter taste.
Until we suffocate,
In our unsaid words.
We die from remaining unheard.

So you’ll probably think it’s absurd.
But in these forgiving waters,
I am free
of  your merciless grip.
Quite ironically,
I can finally breathe
Out. The unsaid words stream
Out of my lips.
Role into the current.
They sing in the sea
The pitiful story
Of my suffering existence
Of unacceptance.
But still,
These words
Will never be heard
By your oblivious ear,
Dear cherished official.
How many more bodies like mine will it take,
To make you understand what is at stake.
Lives are not living,
Because of your domineering
Xenophobic habits.
You’re tearing the world to bits.
Tell me,
Where is your humanity?

‘Cause dear cherished official,
I’m all the innocent bodies
Sunken in the depths of the sea.
I’m all the stranded strangers,
Who ran away from danger.
You could easily be us,
But we will never be you anymore.
So you can turn your head,
But our world will not move ahead
Until you acknowledge your responsibility
And accomplish your duty accordingly.
Only then will our bodies
Rest in peace.
So Prove,
Prove to us you’re capable of humanity.


{A stranded stranger’s closing contemplations}
- A poem by Julia Barrell
This is a poem I wrote, dedicated to the Greek soldiers and all the countless others who mistreat migrants, in hope that they be held accountable for their crimes.

This is a tribute to all the refugees who lost their lives on their way to a safer land.

This is a reminder that it’s not the refugee’s fault if he is running for safety in your country, nor is it his choice. It is the fault of his government, our governments, of the western imperialist countries, who fail to admit their fair share of responsibility.

This is a plea for acknowledgement of the horrors happening all over the globe to refugees in search of a safe home. LET THEM BE HEARD.

This scenario could happen to anyone. So this concerns everyone.
He washed his hands until they bled
And then a little more

He bolted every window
And he locked every door

Through the cracks he peered out at his neighbors
And said “oh for heaven’s sake!

Those bat-eating chinks
We outta burn them at the stake”

Like that no-good ****** Yang
They’re infecting our country

UBI’s for lazy *****!”
Though he could really use the money…

Cause he’s been out of work for days
And has not received a raise

For the last 10 years
Amid corporate fears
of the left’s socialist craze

Yet he still angrily paces
Says “I don't mean to be racist

But they’ve gotta go - all of ‘em!”
As his face turns pale and fever runs

Poor sick thing, he doesn't know
That the hate is just for show

A trick, a guise, a twisted rouse
To turn me against you

Amidst  our misguided attacks
They extort and contort the facts -  

Our communities decay
We rot and waste away

You think it’d gone undetected?
We were always infected
WA West Mar 15
My blank mouth,
Mummering half-words and compressed sentences,
Triggering his hate,
All a misunderstanding really
His patience convulsing
These things can be a trigger to less enviable states,
Is it drastic that I want to end?
A forest floor and some last restful thoughts,
Body layen out like tinned goods,
Some kind of logic to do with presentability,
My organs works of macabre art not yet returned to the earth,
Birds sorting through my body like archivist from gods,
Dre Poetry Sep 2019
Xenophobia
A disease downed on African land, streams of blood low
Down the valley of pain not one not two
Swords falling on their tongues
Bullets penetrating their skins
Through their heart.

A meadow falling short of sweetness
African Earth turned African hell
Tears that flood the rivers
Add up day by day
It's ****** phobia
Stripping and strapping the black
Skin, drops of blood that's black facing
The ground.

Bodies of loving innocent soul
Laid on the floor of African land,
The land of honey now sour
Seats are thorny, hot and
Burns our buttocks
Why all these?
No black is stranger in Africa
No, not black man!
Dre Poetry Sep 2019
The light shade
The skin invisible
Sword blown in air
And necks splash blood
The land of beauty filled with blood
All over the ground
Not spears nor arrows
Sword nor machetes
Not bullet nor bombs
Lives shading and fading away.

The African world losing sight
Losing unity and love
It's been turned on to a shadow of pain
Striking hardworking souls
On the heads
Bodies lay on the tarmacs
Turning it red
Blood flood the way
Why
Why this Africa?
Lost love here here.
It's not that I'm silent I'm, rather,
lost for words
Because this series of events are the worst I've heard,
In a minute.

this is more than simply "under the weather" because this is a divine tragedy.
A story ,of the battles, of vassals,  retainers and traitors;
heavens tribulations and its resounding failures.
Shocked; What took days, now hours.

The pettiest wrath is one born from wanting, fraudulent men exhibiting the worst of fruedian plans
and add a Hate:
born from nations divided, in ways outsiders decided: for the pay;
to make use of the weak till this day,

I can't comprehend this.
It's like the collective consciousness has taken cyanid the: matricide, fratricide, parricide and pedicide; is this an attempt of suicide?
Can't imagine terras eyes, Being terrorized by the homies side
blighting it's own kin, queens and this King's pride.

Is this blaze worth it's years to come when you burn away the blood that flows through us all and purge the graces we won,blessed with a unity, cursed by sub division, the delusions they built dictate how we liv'in.

I can't lie, at times like these I can only try an fly
forced to contemplate the irreconcilable and the priceless how can I evaluate the hate when I know it's love that elevates, so...
how can I;
I'm on the hated and hatful side, oh my what a time, what a time, to be alive.
There's a lot going on in South Africa and I've been shocked out of my wits to say the least. Can only hope for the best...
Mhelaney Noel Feb 2019
The American people are lotuses
Grown out of the murk
We’re periwinkle pretty, but we have residue on some of our petals
And one could drain the swamp, but we’d still be in it, withering in the harsh sunlight
They could select only the fairest lotuses to be preserved, but nature would be disturbed, mutated
The indigo birds that drink our nectar would be betrayed
Then they too would leave us
And leave the aphids without prey
In the absence of deep pink flowers nature would start to cave in on itself and white-hot turmoil would fester and procreate
So invaluable to us is our gradient of flowers
They were meant to be part of our roots, their magentas and mauves keep us balanced
Keep us from turning over into the muddy water where sunlight cannot grace our petals.
This poem was first published by the America Library of Poetry in their 2019 student anthology, Futures.
Amoy Feb 2018
Midnight!
Midnight!
Midnight!

The burning sensation of those word were hard to digest
Sorrow, Tear, How ugly can I be
Black is Beauty I say…to whom they say

Midnight! Midnight!.. you are as dark as Midnight
I'm haunted by those words, As they stuck to me like fresh sap from a tree..
I’m drowning, I’m drowning, I can’t get free, those words will forever trail me..

They trailed me; they jarred me, Blackie Tutu! Blackie Tutu!
How can kids be so cruel using skin color as a tool
I held my own and stayed cool for I knew has long I was in this school my fate was doom.

Pickey-Pickey head! was the melody of the song
I listened allowing the word to sink into my soul
The beat made me sick and I knew this one would also stick
I Looked up to the sky wondering why
No! No! No! Woman don’t cry
Be an African and hold your pride…

Hands by my side, I held my head up high
I found the fight within me, Stone faced Killer bee
I faced the music and it set me free
On the attack I had them flee…using word to conquer thee
I carried on knowing freedom wasn’t free and then
Like bolt of lightning it occurred me  
To defeat them I had to BELIEVE in ME
Sara Kellie May 2018
Leave my Nan out in the rain, it'll be right.
She's having veg later with some meat, on a bone but meat.
No gravy, she's too lazy. She will not thread it.

So what do you think? Shall we fold it the other way?
Do it tonight, it won't be today and not quite black but definitely not grey.

If it smells like cheese, just wear one and keep one eye open!
Then, we may even finish third.
Remember, listen for the sound.
It's crucial, like a twenty pence piece.

Dust! Always dust. Grams and ounces of the dustiest dust.
Never before six and never after six.
Just continuous with no bends, bubbles or any of that material you really like.

Because when he'd finished speaking (The Italian) I didn't understand a ******* word of it!

"Sorry, I don't speak Italian", shrugged my shoulders, did that thing you do with your bottom lip and ****** off.

THE END
(FINITO)
A poem describing the problems we encounter through language barriers.
The solutions we create to overcome them!
Especially the English
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