Life Vessel

By BS Clifford
Asylum seeker boat off the coast of Christmas Island

By B.S.Clifford.


They were lined up along the dock,

I couldn’t tell if they were enemies or friends.

Bobbing up and down,

Up and down,

Gracefully and silently

In the cold and inky black water.


They were tied up,

In pairs or by themselves.

They were waiting their turn.


And aging.

They waited.

Innocent but dangerous,

Sturdy but fragile.


One of them groaned.

Soon it would leave.

Guide us on a long journey.

A journey of a lifetime and

Its final destination.

Slowly it was pulled up beside our feet.

It let out one sad and last protest

And unwillingly allowed us to board.


It was going to take us to freedom.

A place better than where I once called home.


I was wrong.


The waves were big.

The nights were endless.

The days were too bright.

Our journey took many nights,




We finally arrived at a new shore.

I had to farewell my wooden friend.

He was an enemy here.


Beatrice Scanlon is a 15 year old high school student from Perth, WA. She is interested in music, plays drums and is a henna artist.



Brolgas art work by Phoebe McIlwraith

NGALI GARIMA MALLA JUGUN (We Look After This Country) – A call for submissions

Key Dates: Submissions open March 7 Submissions close April 6 NGALI GARIMA MALLA JUGUN  (we look after this Country) Through a new editorial partnership, Right Now and Groundswell are platforming stories that explore the intersection of climate change and human rights, pertaining to First Nations justice. ‘NGALI GARIMA MALLA JUGUN’ is a series of pieces […]