Three Hundred Souls


There it is, in my news feed for the shortest while. Easy to miss, quickly overshadowed by more pressing headlines, more urgent business;

‘300 boat refugees  died, after attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Italy. Forced aboard unequipped dinghies by human traffickers, left to the mercy of the merciless seas. Left to drown, perish or die of hypothermia.’

It happens time & time again. Year in, year out. Boats filled with desperate souls. Sinking ships, starving people, ruthless traffickers. I read the articles. I stare at the pictures. But I can never fully comprehend the desperation & the enormous tragedy of it all.

There it is. In my newsfeed. But then it isn’t. There is other news to report. There are matters of state, there are soccer matches to be covered, movies to come out. Three hundred anonymous lives. Three hundred people we never knew & who we will never know. Faceless, nameless, easily forgotten.

But there it is. In my mind. In my heart. In my soul. Because these faceless, nameless individuals, were three hundred babies once. Cradled in arms, kissed on foreheads, loved & look at. These three hundred souls had three hundred voices, three hundred minds & three hundred beating hearts. And now? Now they are all gone. Now they have become a news item. Moving across my computer screen. Easily missed. All too easily forgotten.

I can’t help feeling they deserve more. So much more than that.

So, here is to three hundred souls, three hundred hearts. Here is to three hundred of our own kind;

Drowning out at sea

My desperate voyage of death
is coming to an end.
With hope and land in sight
I must admit
I amount to nothing,
but a nameless, homeless number

Sailing unforgiving seas,
surrounded by
these sinking ships of hope,
it is my burden
to find demise
wherever I seek freedom

I don’t do it lightly,
but I will abandon ship,
for the captain is long gone,
throwing hands full of faith
from the deck into my eyes
on his long way down

And so,
my desperate voyage of death
is coming to an end,
as I surrender to
the wide skies above
and the wild seas below


6 thoughts on “Three Hundred Souls

  1. Dear sister,
    thanks for the nice words……because that poem you wrote, those words of being on sea, drifting and knowing the end is near.., gave those 300 people ( and all who died before and will in the future) a voice.. at first I makes me hear only one single person, then two persons. then three and so on till the voices of all are speaking these words…together,… it becomes almost extremely loud and almost deafening. Their voices are changing the numbers into humans…into living souls.Those numbers in the paper, in the news were indeed once people, youngsters, small children, babies…thanks for writing about them.

  2. You said it all Rebecca in your reply. Thanks dearest Naomi for your touching words, they made me cry and realize that life, news, is passing too fast and so many things easily too soon forgotten or unnoticed. Through your words, your beautiful poem, at least some more people will remember these nameless individuals.

  3. None of us can look the other way, none of us can’t say we didn’t know. All these desperate people have even more desperate stories. Lives, homes, families, countries… they have to leave all behind because they have no choice. And once they think they are on their way to save grounds, the sea takes their lives or they are looked at as criminals. Something has to change, something has to be done.
    Thanks Naomi for reminding us time and time again.

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