UNSENT LETTER WITH PROSE TO AN IMPRISONED ASYLUM SEEKER

AN UNSENT LETTER WITH PROSE TO AN IMPRISONED ASYLUM SEEKER
AUSTRALIA, 2003

Habibe,

It is four o’clock in the morning and I am awake.

It’s not usual for me to wake in the middle of the night. Maybe I do this now because I know you will be awake too.

The first thing on my mind when I woke, was you, and I want…… no I need to write.

I know how much you love your city, it must be so hard not to be able to walk the lively streets of Damascus at night and to be with family and friends. To be locked in a prison for ‘queue jumping,’ the ‘crime’ of seeking asylum and a chance to be who you know you can be.

About ten years ago, when I had a small window of time from my work, I wrote things. Small crazy thoughts, beginnings of stories about different people I had met and about myself.

I wrote a poem.

I wrote about a caged bird.

Not just any bird, but a magnificent bird, beautifully coloured and special. The kind of bird greedy men traffic, quietly jealous of the wonder shown to such an innocent creature. The kind men without hearts, catch, capture, imprison and transport to countries, alien and harsh – for cash.

The birds notice nothing familiar in these spaces and spend the rest of their lives imprisoned behind wire so others can admire their magnificence. So people can remind themselves of man’s capacity for superiority over those less inclined to impose their will onto others.

To give their own stupid lives the colour and life they themselves don’t have.

The birds often get ill and sometimes die.

This is not your fate.

These same birds are the ones we spoke of that visit my garden, fly free and visit for flower nectar. They stay a while and then go where their sonar’s take them. To lands they remember with warmer climes when the air here becomes too cool.

Here is my poem…….

BEHIND THE WIRE

Rainbow Lorikeet http://www.birdcare.com.au/rainbow_lorikeet.htm

Behind the wire
Live plumes
Service an insatiable thirst to break your colour drought
They sit, caged in a bland backdrop,
Stark contrast to their home
A real life
Beyond the wire.

Outside the wire
Inadequate limbs
Crave metamorphosis, fantasise freedoms flight
A life, surrounded by dull duplex
Imprisoned images of boredom’s brutality
Sit dispossessed
Behind their wire

 

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