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The Empathy Poems project is designed to raise awareness about the plight of asylum seekers and refugees.

The Tamil and the Sudanese

The Tamil and the Sudanese went to sea
In a leaky pea green boat
They had some rice, not very nice
And barely five pounds in notes.

The Tamil looked up to the stars above
Then cried on his small cell phone:
Oh lovely mother, my brother, my sister
What wretched people we are, we are
What wretched people we are.

The Sudanese said to the Tamil:
You desperate fellow
How bitterly sad do you sound
But let us have hope, continue to cope
Until we reach a free land.

They sailed away for a week and a day
To a land that was young and free
But in parliament house a government stood
With its rules, its locks and its keys.

Dear Aussies, are you willing to grant for one shilling
Asylum? Said the MPs ‘No way’.
And they sent them away to be jailed the next day
By the Turnkey who lived on an isle.

They dined on bread and watery mince
Which they ate with plastic spoons.
And hand in hand on the edge of that land
They cried at the sight of the moon, the moon
They cried at the sight of the moon.


i carry the sea (thirty years)