Bearing Witness


Did you feel thus, Aeneas,

when you led your bedraggled fellows, your son

your wife’s ghost, trailing and keening at your back,

from burning Troy?


Were the sea winds as cruel,

the gulls shrill harpies above your parched faces,

desiccated bodies, mocking your woeful state

of fallen grace?


Did dirty coins change hands

with double dealers to deadly ferryman

who tossed you in the waves from your leaky barks

to foreign shores?


Were the dwellers cold-eyed

with dubious welcome parsimony’s promise

to camp you in squalor or drive you with torches

to other lands?


Did they weep many tears

when the child yet a toddler washed to their sands

with nothing but drowned hope and a tiny red shirt

on his small back?

© 2015 Gail Sidonie Sobat

Please see this open letter from Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres:  The Right to Flight: An Open Letter to the Leaders of Canada’s Political Parties 


This week’s great un-/ undersung CanLit title worth checking out: 

Noble SanctuaryScot Morison –  “A powerful novel. Set mostly in Beirut, Lebanon, during the troubled summer of 1982, it tells of Geoff Andrews`s search for Nadya Karameh, the beautiful Palestinian woman with whom he has fallen deeply in love. Thomas Dix, an American journalist, is a wonderfully cynical fixer. Pierre Haddad, a wealthy Lebanese Christian, so charming when first introduced, proves to be a soulless monster. Both are complex and credible. This is a classic quest, the story of the hero`s search for a beautiful woman and the truth, complete with monsters and other bizarre hazards, helpers and hinderers….Noble Sanctuary is a gripping, painful, and disturbing book.”

Writing Quote: “All writers–all beings–are exiles as a matter of course. The certainty about living is that it is a succession of expulsions of whatever carries the life force…All writers are exiles wherever they live and their work is a lifelong journey towards the lost land.” – Janet Frame, New Zealand author (1924-2004).

Writing Tips:  “Titles are not only important, they are essential for me. I cannot write without a title.” – Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban Writer in Exile (1929-2005)

Writing Prompt“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Martin Niemöller

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