The engine stops. Water the only sound
Lapping against the wooden hull.
Wrapped in the autumn night some squint
For the shore, for the light of Europe.
Below deck, those in crowded sleep bob
With the tide like hope bobs in dreams.
Nightmares not discarded at the borders
Or buried below sand now drown
In the Mediterranean. Perhaps
Incensed at their dismissal they know
Silence equals weakness and they
Toss water onboard.
The Captain darts. An engine splutters,
Chokes, the water overwhelms.
Petrol is doused on blankets; a fire
To alert the shore, to awaken Europe.
But the fuel spills and the fire like water
Consumes. Passengers wake.
The sight of fire. Flashes of the red
Sun in the land of Red Sea, flashes
Of gunfire, danger, warfare.
Flashes of hope and life.
Screaming. The overloaded vessel wheezes
And rolls. Europe sleeps.
Our Poem of the Week submissions are currently closed. We are accepting submissions for our other regular features: MONOGRAPH (a group of poems by a single author) and New Voices (poets aged 18-30 who have yet to publish a full collection).