Here is the work of a man who was incarcerated on Manus for 2 years. He returned under pressure to his country of origin only to have to flee again. We have kept in contact and he remains part of Writing Through Fences. Here is some of his story.
image from hemantsoreng.com
I and a dusty road and a cloudy sky.
I and a long dusty road and a dark cloudy sky.
I and a dusty road, nobody knows where is it’s end.
I and a cloudy sky, nobody knows whether it will get rainy or not.
I and a dusty road, nobody knows how long it takes to get to the end of it.
I and a cloudy sky, nobody knows when it will be stormy or what will happen
to me and dusty road.
Maybe we will get green, maybe we will get puddle.
I and a dusty road, nobody knows whether I can get to the end of it or not.
Maybe we will become friends,
maybe we will finally part.
I am not a poet but these poems sometimes come to my mind and I can write them. Not really my mind, they come from my heart.
Thinking about my destination… I came from other side of the world and I came through many countries to get to your country and I couldn’t. They banished me to PNG, to that prison camp – worse than prison camp. I went back to my country and had to run away again, to cross many countries again. I climbed mountains, walked so far, was packed like sheep in a container for 12 hours, took taxi’s, walked so far, slept on streets in freezing rain, boats, camps, sleeping on the wet ground, sometimes in tents, much – too much walking, travelled on buses, walked so far, waited for long times stuck on bridges.
Some days we just had 2 pieces of bread. I lost too much weight.
When I ran away I was not thinking where I would go. I just had to run away. Now. Run. During 3 years, since I first ran away, and then this second time, I crossed more than 15 countries.
Somedays, yes I get depressed because when I think about future, what will happen… I am not young and I don’t have time for another journey – and I am a little bit tired now!
I know this country can accept me but do they want to or not? They can, but will they?
Sometimes I think my life has been wasted. On the other side I say to myself: Hey boy, you are trying to help yourself and many people don’t have the opportunity you have.
I have faced many kinds of people in my life. Here, I find that people are kind. They look at you with open face. Maybe they will accept me. Maybe this big sky will make a storm again and I will have to stay friends with long dusty road. Nobody knows if I can get to a destination or not. I don’t know the answer. I hope that someone will help me solve these problems, that they will accept me and I can stay here in a peaceful place and let go of that dusty road.