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

  • A A Umar Udubo (5/22/2018 2:32:00 AM)


    The best Poem I read today as I come online, I daresay it is a good omen. You write with great enthusiasm and strange passion that must be felt throughout the poem. The feeling would be felt more by people directly affected by such menace and of course it must touch the indirectly affected as well. I would read more of you indeed. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (5/16/2018 8:53:00 AM)


    hiya sexies; 0) looooovvvvveeee yyooouuuusss (Report) Reply

  • (5/16/2018 8:47:00 AM)


    this is a really good poem. I come from Africa so if you are reading this, read it outloud and read it in an African accent. (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2017 11:54:00 PM)


    You are a special poet. (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2017 11:32:00 PM)


    A fascinating place with all the richness of nature but with so much of inequality and discrimination among different classes of people in the society. What an irony! The poem presents a poignant picture. Thanks.
    Where they hate my shade of skin
    They don't like the way I pray....
    Where girls cannot go to school....
    all be refugees.... Nobody is safe
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2017 11:22:00 PM)


    We see here a poet I shall follow. (Report) Reply

  • Sandra N Sneed (11/12/2017 9:12:00 PM)


    This is a beautiful poem and it paints a vivid imagery of where the author comes from. (Report) Reply

  • Rae Seagull (11/12/2017 4:37:00 PM)


    Very well written, Benjamin (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (11/12/2017 2:24:00 PM)


    The sad plight of refugees is very touchingly depicted. Thanks and congratulations for being selected this poem as the poem of the day. (Report) Reply

    (5/16/2018 8:51:00 AM)

    I think you are a very good man I think I now you from when we went to kill da rhino together with the rpg with our best friend siiidoplrvsgg fgtyurvdjjjjj.

  • Tom Allport (11/12/2017 12:57:00 PM)


    a poem that tells it how it is and once was? and how some things never change! ....................well penned Benjamin (Report) Reply

  • Nudershada Cabanes (11/12/2017 11:23:00 AM)


    We can all be refugees even in our own land. A fine poem. (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (11/12/2017 10:47:00 AM)


    A place is beautiful only if the people who live there are beautiful too, .
    Their thoughts and deeds matter a lot..
    The sad plight of refugees is very effectively brought out.
    Congratulations Benjamin for this beautiful poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (11/12/2017 7:29:00 AM)


    A heart rending poem about the condition of refugees. With your amazing style you have told your feeling in a beautiful way. Thanks for sharing and congrats. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/12/2017 4:35:00 AM)


    Yes! We can all be Refugees! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2017 1:06:00 AM)


    Such an interesting poem, Benjamin... congrats for being chosen...10+++ (Report) Reply

  • 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

  • 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

Read all 22 comments »




Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

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



[Report Error]