Referendum 1 


The bodies that wash up on the shores of Europe 

Not described as human even as they die, 

The ‘bunches of migrants’ in tiny fleets 

Connected in pain as the children cry. 

A war torn world torn again by greed 

Fed  to the living as fact dressed in lies, 

The corrupt need us to be the silent with no seed 

As somewhere in that graveyard of honesty another child dies. 


In lorries on land in pain they move 

No home, no shoes no coat, 

You, yes you, sat in comfort with nothing to prove 

May not ever register to vote. 

When you give your voice away 

You give away control to another voice, 

When you decide to leave or stay 

Think beyond your own comfortable choice. 


If that child on the beach once moved you 

If that gas chamber made you shiver, 

There are words seldom said but true 

A truth only a conscious mind can deliver. 

The powerful need you to feel done 

They need you not to care, 

You to be that bystander as the harm has begun 

With no empathy left to share. 


This ‘bunch of migrants’ that is me and you 

This present is the history we must someday explain too, 

Our grandchildren won’t believe it is true 

With all our power there was really nothing we could do. 

Sit silent then, hold your voice 

Sit silent then hold you vote, 

Sit silent then it is your choice 

Sit silent in when its your turn in that boat. 










Photo of Shami Chakrabiti taken by r2ph at Yarls Wood May 2015 

Poem written 

11th May 2016

Roweena Russell 

@r2ph