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Migration: The blindness of hope

by Liban Obsiye
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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He can see the shore in the far distance

But he must survive the angry sea to reach it

He can sense help nearby

But help waits for him to enter its waters

He can hear the mass whispering of prayers

But they are drowned out by the pounding of his heart.

Hope and happiness lurks near

But death is closer.

She waits for him to ring from Europe

But her mobile is dead silent

She prays for her darling son to reach safety

But he is in God’s hands now

She looks to the stars for comfort

But they are dark tonight

A mother’s tears drown the earth beneath

But the sun dries it up by morning.


The sailor looks out to sea

But the Migrants are not yet in his waters

The politicians wait to condemn evil traffickers 

But they pray quietly that migrants do not reach their shores

The community waits to welcome them

But a few prepare to fight them back to the ocean

The rich governments rush to build camps of misery in foreign lands

But this does not deter the desperate and war weary.

Migration is the most contentious political and social issue the modern world arguably faces but it is not a crisis as it is described. A crisis is sudden and unpredicted but with increasing wars in the Middle East, enormous wealth gaps between continents and aspiration on the part of the poor and ill governed in the least developed and insecure nations in the world, more and more people are on the move  seeking security and opportunities in the more developed countries.

This poem describes the pain of migration on all those involved. It calls for more direct and meaningful support and policy discussion on an international level and less politicking to formulate solutions to end this tragedy of our time.

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