Bright yellow sparks glisten around the landscape
Sheer environment expose
Warmth slinks down every step
Spur like rays muster in long light
The wolves wait to howl
Soon--Bunch of flowers
Huddle in with sunlit love
"The Immigration Officer Asked Me."
I was asked where are you coming from?
I answered I ran away from the war in my
I was asked how many years the war lasted?
I answered there was war for sixteen years
we were bombarded daily attacked by militia
on our way to work when we could go to work.
I was asked why did you choose this country?
I answered because they accept political refugees
and i heard that Canadians are helping us.
I was asked why do you look so pale and slim?
I answered because we had no food to eat when
we were bombarded we could not go out to buy
food, and when we were in the shelter nobody
brought us any food.
I was asked why are you wearing dark glasses?
I answered because i am not used to see the light.
We rarely had electricity, always using a candle
and staying in the dark for days my eye sight
I was asked why don't you hear well?
I answered because of the arterially shelling.
And we had a bomb falling on our ceiling when
i was sitting in our home before the bomb fell.
I was asked why do you look shabby?
I answered because we never had water.
We never had water running in our tapes
we had to buy water to have a shower or
rain to fill utensils in plastic for many days.
He asked why don't you have any luggage?
I answered because i have nothing to wear.
My kids education needed all the money and
i worked 2 jobs to bring in some money.
He asked what kind of work did you do?
I answered i was working in the hospital.
And working in a Boutique for mens clothing.
He asked were you working as a nurse?
I answered no i was cleaning the floors
and bathrooms i was everywhere for years
in that hospital.
He asked do you have any money on you?
I answered no the militia took everything.
When i arrived to the boat to leave the
country as the airport was closed for
years sometimes, at the port, one militia
guy just snatched the few dollars i had.
He asked did you leave your home behind?
I answered no they bombarded my home
its in rebels i have nothing left in Lebanon.
He noticed my tears tumbling down my cheeks.
He asked where were you living then?
I answered i lived underground with many
people, for months sometimes we were
underground sleeping on the floor somedays
we had no food given by the enemy, the cry`s
of children hungry was unbearable.
He asked do you have any family with you?
I answered no i have been alone since the war.
I had to send away my children after they
were able to graduate not to be snatched by
the militia. They both went to the US to work.
He asked how many children do you have?
I answered i have two boys one is a lawyer
and my other son is an interior designer.
He asked and where are they now?
I answered they ran away from the militia
to the US as we had very close friends who
took them until they could find work to pay
a rented room.
He asked how may languages do you speak?
I answered i speak three languages.
Arabic English and French.
He asked do you want to stay here?
I answered with my tears blinding
my eyes, please, i have nowhere
to go and i heard so much about
the Canadians how human and
generous they are.
He looked at me with a painful look
I will accept you as a political refugee
we will give you some money every
month you will have a bed to sleep
you will have food to eat work to do
water to drink shower and clothes
to wear and you can ask your
children to come, are you happy now.
He stamped my passport and wished
me a good luck with a huge smile.
The beginning of a new life.
She has eyes that have seen all the sky
a smile that is both knowing and shy
Her brow is humble and also proud
Expressions as soft as a shifting cloud.
She is tall and frail like a river reed
Up until now the forest has been her creed
And words that once flowed like a river stream
Now she must search for what they mean
Where once the forest taught her each simple rule
Now she is thrust to study in a Western school
So her body conveys her intentions devout
She stays rooted despite her desire for flight
She absorbs new knowledge like sunlight itself
All her tears are like rain on this hard gained wealth
This shy forest spirit has blossomed and grown
In quiet moments we know where her thoughts have flown
This is my friend's daughter they adopted from Thailand at age 11.
In one year she was speaking fluent English.
She received-american-veterans jrotc-cadet--outstanding-cadet-award/ last year.
Only one cadet per detachment receives the award annually.
She is also a girl guide and on the Volley Ball Team.
I taught her papercrafts and she makes all her own beautiful greeting cards.
She is a true example of a girl rising.
She misses her sister in Thailand who was kept by the family and often thinks of them all
and is torn between the two worlds but understands she has more opportunity here.
Fifteen tiny swallows
Fifteen tiny swallows
All perched upon a fence
Oh what handsome fellows
But here, let me commence
To speak of all their beauty
These tiny little birds
All black and cream with a reddish throat
Oh how my heart they stirred
A lady walking with her dog
Disturbed these little guys
So from the fence these birds take wing
And head towards the skies
It seems that they are dancing
In the way they fly around
They always seem to fly in circles
And nearly touch the ground.
I walk around these wetlands
And wonder at it all
Everyday it’s something else
And it’s all so beautiful
Ducks and swallows, parrots too
And the beauty of the lake
I love to walk there most of all
At the coming of the daybreak.
16 August 2013 @ 1510hrs.
I couldn’t understand the language she spoke,
at least not all of it,
but the emotion pouring past her lips,
the tears in her eyes, her clenched and shaking fists
enunciated more clearly,
than any piece of English Poetry I had ever read,
and grabbed me, held me still.
…In that moment, her soul was in my arms.
In that finite, tender breath of our lives,
she was my mother, my best friend…
but I could not console her.
I didn’t have the words;
and my heart sank into the
concrete between us,
wet with the pain of God’s rain
and her tears.
…Were my tears
So, I simply opened my palms
toward her crouched form and
spoke the only words I could
fathom, that would be accepted
by a stranger on a dangerous street.
"I am sorry, It will be okay. God will bless you."
I knew she did not understand…
“que va a estar bien”
“Dios te bendecira’ “
the words were as messy as the overturned
duffle bag at her feet…and fumbled, slowly
from my lips, as my knees hit the street.
Two strangers, cried in the rain,
knowing nothing of each other’s suffering,
and yet we shared the weight,
together, for those few moments;
the barrier of language was broken.
Love spoke for us.
-James Kelley 2014, All rights reserved.
…Love transcends any language
Light falters in through the cracks
of an ancient wall
While the moss grows lime green on
stones near the shore
In another land
people are filled with bright expectations
Over the sounding sea
the sound of sea horns can be heard
The broad expanse of the ocean
will be crossed
As new wayfarers come to our land
Bringing with them shards of memory
of cultures unknown to these shores
Bringing with them shards of "storied pomp"
The musty, foul smelling
The room is dim
Everyone is waiting
For the shores of Ellis Island
They hope to have a new life
Start over in America
The room awakens
When the captain yells
I see the gleaming copper Statue of Liberty
I can smell the fresh salty air
My heart is filled with optimism
My dreams are so close to coming true
But the same cannot be said for others
Some are sent back for illness
Or not enough money
Or no ride
They send you back
To that hopeless land
Back on the dim boat
Where dreams once lived but now are lost
Yet others are let through
To the country of America
Where a better life awaits
Filled with hope
In the land of opportunity
I smile a happy smile
I am almost there
My new home is in a new country.
I know very little of the language and culture.
Memories of my old country will be in my heart forever
The love of my old country will always remain.
I leave for a better life and new opportunities
Hoping to make a bright future for me and my family.
In the country of my forefathers,
Economy is friendless and upset,
Politics are sleeping with labour,
Justice is seducing foreign crime,
Poetry is turned on, but it fears,
Traditions keeps history hostage,
Religions are attempting suicide,
Nature is busy biting its tongues,
Fruits are swearing at their trees,
Education shows God axis finger,
Seas gets shallow, graves deepen,
Life confront its first nightmares,
Death is satisfying its final desire,
Future is stinking nothing but lies,
June 13, 2003
By Mohlouoa Ntsasa
Oppressed by you, your state, your religion
So you think you good, kind and Superior
But I find you cruel, arrogant and callous
But that is just in my view, what do I know?
You control the language that describes pain
But there is no for me in its grid, or how I feel
My soul is ripped from my body and bound,
On to your machines on which I slave and toil.
You say it has to be this way, no room for doubt
Master and slave, it is only a matter of degrees
But it is my kind that is always tied to the rack
While you sip vintage wine in the lap of luxury.
Everything has its time and its place, yours is over
End is near, for you and everything you hold dear
Everything carries with it the root of its own destruction
And I will rejoice now that your has very nearly come.