Boats Have No Rights

Tony Smith
Language: English

Boats Have No Rights
Copyright Tony Smith 2015

When the Australian Government decided on its cruel policy towards asylum seekers, its slogan was that it was stopping the boats. Boats are impersonal and have no rights. It could not be honest and describe its policy as stopping the people in distress, could it?
As I sailed out in the Indian Ocean
As I cruised over the Timor Sea
I met a young man forlornly weeping
And asked the cause of his misery

‘I see by your smugness you are Australian
I see by your richness that you are from there
Please explain why you hate me so badly
Why for my poor life you so little you care

‘I fled my homeland to sail on the ocean
I risked everything to seek a new life
I hungered for freedom and sought a safe country
For my precious children and beautiful wife

‘I suffered so badly at the hands of a tyrant
Who killed my mother and father in spite
So when civil war ravaged our nation
That was our chance and so we took flight

‘We went to a camp over the border
All we had left now was our lives
But we soon found this held no future
Our spirits seeped from us by day and by night

‘One day a man promised to take us
Over the sea to a land full of hope
We used our last pennies to pay for a passage
On his old and crowded boat

‘The boat was leaky and rolled in the swelling
I was so sick I thought I would die
It finally sank when it got to your waters
So many drowned though land was in sight

‘Was it wrong that I wanted so much for my loved ones?
What in my place would you not do?
There was a time you welcomed all strangers
And helped anyone weaker than you’.

I said that I disagreed with the government
But they were elected and what could I do?
He gave a deep sigh and eyed me with pity
And said ‘Now I feel sorry for you.

‘Stop the boats is a vile slogan
Boats have no rights or dignity
Be honest and say Stop the people
Admit that you lack humanity’.

As I hide behind the vastness of oceans
And hope that the tide won’t turn against me
His biting words will haunt me forever
For what I have sown one day I’ll reap (2: yes,)

Contributed by Tony Smith - 2021/1/29 - 02:37

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