|Above: The Parents – Woodcut by Kathe Kollwitz(1867-1945)|
The following poem titled ‘Refugees’ is written by Fr Patrick Purnell SJ, especially for JRS. The poet gives us a vivid picture of refugees with a dignified voice despite their agonising situations.
Stealthily, we moved from the edges,
Drawn by dreams of plenitude,
Leaving our homes at the margins
Of the deserted flatlands,
Where nothing grows
And what we had of wheels and cogs
Grow rust and harbour cobwebs.
It was fear that urged us on,
Hacking at our hearts,
Fear of the demented power,
That fed upon its own illusions
And cut the naval string
Which bound us to our Tribal Story.
We were stripped at gunpoint
At the precise point of intersection
Between what passed as frontier of the
We carry nothing with us
But the golden memories
Of a love that had once
Bound us together as a people,
The incense of a gifted race
Which had ministered a fruitful land for a thousand years
And we carry, like a sacrament,
The myrrh of our Nation’s woundedness
In which is mixed the wisdom of our ancestors.
This is who we are.
These are our gifts,
As we stand before your walls
And if this is not enough
To gain entry to your land,
Let the sun come down
Upon our dry bones
And the moon carve us a grave.