They leave by night

By Sharon Hammad
Small boat on dark sea

By Sharon Hammad

This poem was shortlisted in the Right Now Poetry Competition, judged by Maxine Beneba-Clarke, Amanda Anastasi and Benjamin Solah. Read the shortlist here

They leave by night in numbers large and small,
Risk lives and limbs aboard a crowded boat.
Surrendering into the smugglers’ thrall,
They pray the leaky vessel stays afloat.

Already they have journeyed far and long
Away from loved ones urging them to flee,
No luxury to ponder right or wrong,
Asylum-seeking their necessity.

Some say that empathy is misapplied
To those who can afford to “jump the queue”,
As if their tragic pasts can be denied.
So desperation robs them of their due.

The surging sea devours its friendless prey
For whom, it seems, there is no other way.

Sharon Hammad writes short stories and poems for adults and children. Her work has been published in Woman’s Day, FreeXpression, Narrator and Yellow Moon.



Review – Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia

By Georgia Cerni

Sophie Cousins’ book Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia is, in many respects, a proposal. For Cousins, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided Australians with an opportunity to reconsider the ways our society currently functions. Cousins aptly makes her case – while in some ways the pandemic reinforced burgeoning inequalities, it also presented us the chance to apply collectivist values to solve systemic problems.