Asylum Seekers: No Clouds Were In The Sky

Australia’s asylum seekers policy for people reaching Australia by boat is based on one objective. That is to make the conditions in the mandatory prisons worse than the conditions from which asylum seekers have fled. The policy includes encouraging people to return to the country they left by paying them money after only a cursory attempt to discover if they are true refugees.

None of this is consistent with Australia’s international obligations, which is of no concern to the current government.

No clouds were in the sky

No clouds were in the sky the day my father died.
Tied to a tree he screamed, wept and writhed.
Watch us now, they say.
His daughter raped by all,
Laughing, one by one.
Her body torn, her cries are stilled, she dies.
Each rapes her still, a second time.
I hear them now, the screams and cries.
Kalashnikov’s harsh clatter snarls,
Empties its magazine.
Emptying my father’s guts upon the ground.
I dare not move, nor breathe, nor think, nor hope.

There is a land where people smile, they say.
There is a land where people laugh, they say.
There is a land where people work, they say.
There is a land where people sing, they say.
There is a land where people dance, they say.
You can go to this land, Australia, they say.
Do they rape?
Do they shoot?
Do they torture?
Do they kill?
Oh no, they say.

No clouds were in the sky the day they stopped our boat.
The day the diesel coughed it’s last.
Rocked by the swell, I watched them come.
Men with guns.
What is your name they say.
Why are you here, they say.
Why did you leave, they say.
Why not go back, they say.
I hear the screams, I hear the cries, I hear the clatter.
Through my tears, I answer. Does it matter?
I swallow my fears, force through my trembling lips,
Australia. Ha, Australia. You can’t go there, they say.

Is there is a land where people smile?
Is there is a land where people laugh?
Is there is a land where people work?
Is there is a land where people sing?
Is there is a land where people dance?

No clouds were in the sky the day I am to die.
They put us on another boat. They sent us back.
Where they rape.
Where they shoot.
Where they torture.
Where they kill.
I am a terrorist, they say.
I am an activist, they say.
I am guilty, they say.
They tie me to a tree. No screams. No cries.
Kalashnikov’s harsh clatter snarls,
Empties my guts upon the ground.

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