Benjamin Zephaniah

(15 April 1958 / Birmingham)

We Refugees - Poem by Benjamin Zephaniah

I come from a musical place
Where they shoot me for my song
And my brother has been tortured
By my brother in my land.

I come from a beautiful place
Where they hate my shade of skin
They don't like the way I pray
And they ban free poetry.

I come from a beautiful place
Where girls cannot go to school
There you are told what to believe
And even young boys must grow beards.

I come from a great old forest
I think it is now a field
And the people I once knew
Are not there now.

We can all be refugees
Nobody is safe,
All it takes is a mad leader
Or no rain to bring forth food,
We can all be refugees
We can all be told to go,
We can be hated by someone
For being someone.

I come from a beautiful place
Where the valley floods each year
And each year the hurricane tells us
That we must keep moving on.

I come from an ancient place
All my family were born there
And I would like to go there
But I really want to live.

I come from a sunny, sandy place
Where tourists go to darken skin
And dealers like to sell guns there
I just can't tell you what's the price.

I am told I have no country now
I am told I am a lie
I am told that modern history books
May forget my name.

We can all be refugees
Sometimes it only takes a day,
Sometimes it only takes a handshake
Or a paper that is signed.
We all came from refugees
Nobody simply just appeared,
Nobody's here without a struggle,
And why should we live in fear
Of the weather or the troubles?
We all came here from somewhere.

Comments about We Refugees by Benjamin Zephaniah

  • Emmanuel Arunee Mwanza (5/16/2016 3:38:00 AM)

    Amazing...really touchy...we all came from somewhere...we all have somewhere where we belong no matter where we are right now (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Sofia Kioroglou (4/10/2016 1:17:00 PM)

    This is an amazing poem. Very compelling and so very true! (Report) Reply

  • Diana Van Den Berg (11/13/2015 4:01:00 PM)

    I love the truth and the courage and the final optimism of this poem, and of course the beauty of the words and images.

    People say “as free as a bird” but birds aren’t free. They have to look out for birds/ animals/ humans of prey – but they have the courage to live their lives with exhilaration and sing in the face of it – as you say we should do too, and you are so right.
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/4/2015 12:53:00 PM)

    I can relate to this poem. It speaks truth. (Report) Reply

  • (5/28/2008 1:47:00 PM)

    beautiful...and so real.... tank you (Report) Reply

  • (5/28/2008 1:47:00 PM)

    beautiful...and so real.... tank you (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

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Read poems about / on: brother, beautiful, sometimes, history, weather, poetry, school, family, food, hate, believe, rain, song, fear, people, girl

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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