A poem by Parwana Amiri

Parwana Amiri is an author, poet and activist from Afghanistan who is living in Greece since September 2019. Her poetry may seem softly written, but it contains hidden stories and bitter truths. With her work, she challenges the power of art and poetry to convey these bitter truths of the times. This poem is written to express the scenes of Parwana and other refugees in a dinghy, trying to reach Europe. In their last effort to cross the Aegean Sea, there were many people in one boat and it was a dangerous, terrifying night. The water was coming in the rubber boat and we were trying to throw it away. Prawn likes the power of poetry to express the scenes she has experienced as a refugee.

It is important to remember that as you read this poem many are still trying to pass borders and put their lives in a rubber boat, with the aim of reaching safety .

Illustration by Alexandra Nikolova (Ål Nik).

The illustration follows one of the hardest moments of the refugees’ journey – sailing through the scary dark waters to seek refuge. We find them at the moment when the waves were endangering the boat, mothers and children were crying. We feel thousands of dreams and hopes for reaching out the shores….

We were in distress

In a dark scary night

As the moon was smiling

In the middle of the sea

We were in distress

My mother was crying

Scared for us all

In that angry rough sea

We were in distress

Time was passing slowly

Seconds were counted

Danger was alerting us

we were in distress

Stars were sparkling

Water was all around

Babies were all crying

We were in distress

Thousands of dreams in the sea

Many courages were put to the test

To reach safety, crossing the sea

We were in distress

Some holes in our rubber dinghy

Let the water in slowly

We took both our shoes off

We were in distress

We searched for something

Nothing around to

Throw the water out of the dinghy

We were in distress

Our hearts were pulsing hard

Our eyes were getting wet

We were sinking

We were in distress

The final moments were upon us

We reached the shore

Exhausted, alone, distressed

We reached Europe