Elizabeth says: “In the course of my work I use poetry to help digest the situations I encounter. I also use poems to provide a voice in English for the stories I hear, to humanise the people from the boats. One day in a detention centre it was pouring with heavy drops of rain and someone suggested they were God’s tears. I sat with a Hazara and an Iranian man, the rain bucketing around us. Having been in detention for 2 years, they related their troubles and the implications for their loved ones back at home.
It’s hard to forget the shots
and what’s still ringing in your ears.
It’s hard to remove the pain
of heavy falling rain,
becoming ever less-than-sane,
falling down amidst God’s tears.
It’s ripping of the heart-strings,
it’s surgery of war,
it brings you to your darkest hour,
where love appears no more.
It ekes the life out from you
and every passing shower
opens the scar
as if on cue.
For love that’s deepest drowns the most
and a host of other passions
blur in watercolour,
as certainties are duller
and every drop
you wish would stop
and you’d put the clouds on rations.
Yet their tears are also lonely
and if only they’d receive
a welcome from a heart that knows of loss,
no drop would ever leave
without a gift.
Though the rain may lift
and the sky may clear, across
the pain, the fear,
the flowers grow from every tear
and above, for love, a rainbow.
Messages to: Elizabeth Young rsm