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


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Like a princess in a palace
Like a whale within a zoo
Like a beetle in a bottle
Like a room without a view.

Like a rat that isn’t leaving
With the sinking of a ship
Like the thrashings of a swimmer
Who is caught inside a rip.

Like the nightmares of a country
That you had to leave behind
For another cursed country
That is messing with your mind.

Like a climber on a rock face
At the point of no return
Like a child before a teacher
With a brain that will not learn.

Like the vision of a blindman
Who has never seen the sun
Like a animal that’s cornered
By a shooter with his gun. 

Like the voices of the Yolngu
Somewhere north of Kakadu
From a little local lockup
Where the visitors are few.

Like the memories of the ancients
Of country disappeared
Like the tribal elders sleeping
In suburban brick veneer.

Like the family of your mother
In a country you forgot
In the ever burning embers
Of your anger running hot.

Like the drowning of your childhood
In some unknown foreign sea
Like the agony of drawing breath
Each day, a refugee.


The Boy

Tell Me About the Dream