Lampedusa

 

This is where they come from:

villages eaten up by sand

river beds run dry

lands of red earth stained with blood

where there are mobs, bombs, bullets,

crops that fail.

 

This is who they are:

the young, the desperate, the brave,

fathers with daughters, motherless sons,

whose sin was to be born poor

worship the wrong body

bow before the wrong god.

 

This is what they carry:

hope, crumpled dollars, memories of home,

slips of paper with the number of a phone

for an uncle in Milan, a cousin

swallowed in the cities of the north

who has work, who sends back pittances 

and letters rare as desert rain.

 

This is where they place their fate:

in the hands of men with guns and easy smiles

who speak only the cold esperanto of money

who wait, patient and sure

promises tumbling from the wet caves of their mouths

smooth and soft as water.

 

This is where they lie:

washed up in their scores

on the shores of Lampedusa

their souls slipping the leash

back to Africa

their dreams and their names 

known only to the sea.

drowningLampedusamigrants

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Never See A Nipple... ►

Comments

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steve pottinger

Wed 30th Oct 2013 08:14

Thank you. :-)

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Patricia and Stefan Wilde

Tue 29th Oct 2013 18:34

thanks be,to be able to back pedal,and find brilliant work such as this.Wow!xx

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Ian Whiteley

Wed 16th Oct 2013 18:42

great stuff Steve - very simple and understated but very powerful - good 'un

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steve pottinger

Thu 10th Oct 2013 15:09

Thanks very much for the feedback, folks. Much appreciated. :-)

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Andy N

Thu 10th Oct 2013 12:56

really powerful, steve. defo deserves being published by Poetry24 this morn.

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Lynn Dye

Tue 8th Oct 2013 19:38

Brilliant stuff, Steve, moving and well written.

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Rose Casserley

Tue 8th Oct 2013 17:35

absolutely brilliant.x

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steve pottinger

Tue 8th Oct 2013 14:22

Thanks for the comments, folks.

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Laura Taylor

Mon 7th Oct 2013 14:13

Aye, poignant piece this Steve. Nicely on getting it in P24 too

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Isobel

Mon 7th Oct 2013 13:07

Very moving Steve. I love the simplicity of each first line, contrasting so sharply with what follows.

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steve pottinger

Mon 7th Oct 2013 08:59

This was published by Poetry24 this morning. My thanks to them.

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