It is often in the arts that we can see, hear and touch something outside our sphere of experience. Genesis 1:27 is clear:
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
May the words of this poem written by a fellow image bearer of God help us to see, to hear, and to be touched by one who lives a very different life - only because of where he is in the world. To be a refugee since 2013 takes a toll.
Are you here .......?
Do you see me when I see you
I see you look like me only when I look at myself in the mirror
I see you get away from me
Stand on the other side of this world
come closer to me . ....I want to talk to you and see you
Come close to me to share all my defeats
Let's share tears, tobacco and betrayal together
Come closer, let's share the disappointment together
Let's learn more lessons from disappointment
When.. I see the signs of shock on your face
Is it the first time you see me talking about myself and looking for it
Don't worry I'm not hallucinating and I'm not sick
I'm still me... as you promised me before
And my artery still has some damage and the memory is strong
But I no longer dream of tomorrow
There is no tomorrow to dream of
And our dreams were very simple
I did not ask for the word refugee to fall off my shoulders
I just dreamed of being somewhere else
It fulfills the weakest requirements of life for me and my child
I did not ask for the impossible
I asked for a school job for my child, I asked from tomorrow
By letting me be a good father I didn't ask for the impossible
I'm still me...just the way I am
You're fragile, tough, strong, weak
I write poetry and I no longer dream of becoming a poet
You may see me as old, but in my thirties
Come close and stand beside me to mourn my soldiers
The ones I lost one by one in my fight against hope
Are you here .....?
did you forget me ....?
I told you about hope
I'm the one who told you about my tent
I shared my poems about asylum with you
I'm that dreamer before tomorrow
I am the one who betrayed me tomorrow
Am I still the one I'm talking about?
I look at my child and say
Don't dream about tomorrow
We left him behind, sharing the crumbs
We have nothing left
Betrayal is cruel
And you are bound by the chains of disappointment
Why don't you listen to my talk quietly?
without any answer
Hope takes us back to the early ages
We were sold in a slave market
He brought us back to the time of slavery, but with another name
Maybe a refugee, a displaced person, or whatever you like
I won't tell you anymore about hope
We will see you forgotten, we don't dream of anything
And we preserved the taste of salt in tears
Even today's sustenance has become like hope
What is our fault?
Why are you a refugee, me?
Yes, because you are a refugee, me
Learn all the lessons of cruelty and disappointment
Learn not to get up, be calm and tell yourself
I'm exhausted. Give me your stick to lean on
Let the stick betray you and teach you a last lesson in disappointment.
- Mohamad Alkhateeb, 2021