Monday, June 18, 2018

When Home is the Mouth of a Shark

Artist: Eleazar Velazquez

Mary Moon at Bless Our Hearts has written a magnificent post about the current POSPOTUS' administration's draconian policy of separating children from their parents at our borders. She included this poem by Warsan Shire, a British poet born to Somali parents in Kenya, East Africa. Such is the power of poetry that I've included it in my own and hope that everyone will read it and pass it along. I know that many of you reading my blog deplore my politics, my language, my view of this country. I hope you read it, too, and think deeply about it and about your own complicity in supporting the man you've voted into office and what he's done to this country.


no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly.

it's not something you ever thought about
doing, and so when you did -
you carried the anthem under your breath,
waiting until the airport toilet
to tear up the passport and swallow,
each mouthful of paper making it clear that
you would not be going back.

you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.

who would choose to spend days
and nights in the stomach of a truck
unless the miles travelled
meant something more than journey.

no one would choose to crawl under fences,
be beaten until your shadow leaves you,
raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of
the boat because you are darker, be sold,
starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,
be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,
make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten,
stripped and searched, find prison everywhere
and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side
with go home blacks, refugees
dirty immigrants, asylum seekers
sucking our country dry of milk,
dark, with their hands out
smell strange, savage -
look what they've done to their own countries,
what will they do to ours?

the dirty looks in the street
softer than a limb torn off,
the indignity of everyday life
more tender than fourteen men who
look like your father, between
your legs, insults easier to swallow
than rubble, than your child's body
in pieces - for now, forget about pride
your survival is more important.

i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home tells you to
leave what you could not behind,
even if it was human.

no one leaves home until home
is a damp voice in your ear saying
leave, run now, i don't know what
i've become.

Warsan Shire

I agree with Mary when she writes, 
wish that every ignorant, racist asshole who claims that "illegal immigrants" who try to enter our country to suck the tit of the Big American Eagle Good Life Without Earning It deserve whatever happens to them up to and including having their babies snatched from them (that'll teach 'em!) could be forced to read this poem over and over until they get a molecule of understanding and empathy. If that's even possible which I doubt. 

We the people need to stop this right now. If we don't, I imagine that we, too, the privileged of this country, will be leaving our own home -- that damp voice in our ear saying leave, run now, we don't know what Amerikkka has become.



  1. Because our lives do depend on it. Thank you Elizabeth.

  2. WOW, that Poem is so profound and made me weep and want to hug her... Thank You for Sharing it, I have Shared it now with all my Friends. As the Daughter of a Legal Immigrant Mother and a Dad of Native American Ancestry I personally knew the bias, the stereotypes and discrimination my Parents felt. My Mother due to being a Foreigner in a Host Country, my Father due to being of an indigenous First People of a land that others came to from other shores and took over... there is only one Race, the Human Race, the sooner people can wrap their Minds around that reality the better... there but for the Grace of God are we.

  3. I've already been working the phones because my life and the lives of my children depend on it!!


  4. Thank you for this post. The beloved community is growing worldwide. We will need to keep speaking out for the rest of our lives, if need be. May we count on those awakened ones in the younger generation and in the generations to come to do the same forever.

  5. Oh, Elizabeth. I feel so very honored. Thank you.
    That poem says it all so profoundly. It humbles my heart.
    I cannot believe that we have reached these dark times in our country. I have lost faith in everything which the American dream is supposed to mean.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I’d seen it on an Instagram story and wasn’t able to read the whole thing.💔

  7. I just read this poem on Mary's blog and I couldn't agree more. So much for the Great American Melting Pot, right? Ellis Island? The immigrant experience? How quickly people forget. I don't recognize my own home country anymore. (Haven't in some time, actually.)

  8. I totally agree and have been writing, signing petitions and calling...I don't like this country and now do not know if I ever will.

  9. Really? Many people reading your blog deplore your politics? That seems bizarre to me. Thank you for all you do.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...