No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is the Mouth of a Shark
No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is the Mouth of a Shark
By Abby Zimet / commondreams.org
Jun 29, 2016

A broken Abdullah Kurdi buried his two toddlers and his wife in their hometown of Kobani, Syria even as thousands of his fellow refugees continued on their harrowing quest for safety - marching hundreds of miles from Hungary to Austria and Germany, eventually helped along by buses provided by Hungary; breaking out of camps where they charged they were mistreated; barricading themselves on "Freedom Trains" grounded at the station. Some sprayed shaving cream messages on the sides of trains -  "No Camps. No Hungary. Freedom" - while many wrote and held high their plaintive signs: "Help, Europe...We Want Germany...S.O.S....Here Big Guantanamo...Where Is the World?" The first refugees have now begun reaching Austria and Germany after officials there opened borders.

Kurdi, meanwhile, broke down at a Turkish morgue after claiming the bodies of hisdrowned family - his wife Rehan, five-year-old son Galip, and three-year-old son Aylan, whose small body washed ashore became the image that for many made a formerly abstract refugee crisis suddenly, grimly real. Having left their battered hometown in hopes of reaching Greece and ultimately Canada, Kurdi said, “Now I don’t want anything. Even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don’t want them... My kids were the most beautiful children in the world. They are all gone now...We want the whole world to see this. Let this be the last."

For now, the catastrophe goes on. There are ways to help - see herehere, herehere, here,here.

There is, too, a need to understand - that "no one would leave home/unless home chased you to the shore," that "no one puts their children in a boat/unless the water is safer than the land," that all of this happens when "home is the barrel of the gun." From the Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here


Aylan and Galip
0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · 16,115 views today · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 12,673 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 8,871 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 7,886 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 5,871 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
The Fire Within
Words by Sophie Scholl - Illustrations by Gavin Aung Than · 5,754 views today · Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) was a German activist who is famous for speaking out against the Nazi regime. Scholl was a member of a protest group called The White Rose, which...
Voices of Standing Rock
49 min · 4,787 views today · Short stories told by water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Part 1 - Introduction: Since mid-August 2016, thousands have set up camp near the Standing Rock Sioux...
The London Anarchist Group Squatting Mansions to Fight Homelessness
6 min · 4,461 views today · London squatting activists ANAL (Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians) are squatting empty multi-million pound buildings and opening them up to the homeless.
The Most Astounding Fact about the Universe
3 min · 4,364 views today · This is Neil Degrasse Tyson's response when asked to describe the most astounding fact about the universe. Background music is the cinematic orchestra - To build a home.
Redneck Revolt Presents: A Message to the Patriot Movement
6 min · 4,317 views today · Over the past few weeks, Redneck Revolt has been communicating with a former member of a III% Patriot Militia based out of Ohio. Peter made contact with our organization after...
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 2,772 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 2,750 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
The Lessons of Standing Rock
Michael Emero · 2,672 views today · In mid-November of 2016, I was a Water Protector at Standing Rock. At first my goal was to play investigative journalist; documenting then writing about every detail for my...
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 2,311 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
To Change Everything, Start Everywhere
8 min · 1,331 views today · To Change Everything, Start Everywhere! The case for complete self-determination—a guide for the furious, the curious, and the pure of heart. To Change Everything: An...
Charles Eisenstein: The Two Great Stories That Give Meaning to Our Lives
6 min · 1,329 views today · What matters in life? Who are we? Every culture has answers to these questions. And the way we answer them has profound effects on the health of people and planet. This is a...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 1,199 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
What Happens When You Rebel Against the Herd
Sofo Archon · 1,090 views today · Are You Truly Living Your Life? You live, but are you living the way you want to live, or the way others want you to live? You choose, but are your choices based on...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,049 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 842 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is the Mouth of a Shark