Famine Of Fellow Feeling

We don’t know

What they’ve come from

What they are fleeing

Or why they think our land a paradise

But they keep finding money and keep coming

And some are lost in waters cold as ice


Poor countries far away is all we know

We’ve heard the names read out on TV news

Somalia and Yemen Syria and Iraq

Places bombed to hell

We want to send them back


They haven’t read our poetry

About our green and pleasant land

But somebody somewhere

Has given them to understand

The UK is okay they say

Or words to that effect

Jump in a dinghy sail across

Come on you’ll get there yet


And we look on from this side

This side of Dover beach

And see invading hordes

Invading us

We’ve got problems of our own

We don’t need anymore

Send out the patrol boats

Time to shut the door


My forebears came from Ireland

And many the time before

When famine roamed the land

And millions died

And the government in Whitehall

They didn’t understand

The problem’s exaggerated

It’s only Ireland


We need an education

Get to know these folk

Put it on the news

It won’t leave us broke

Get a fuller picture

Open wide your heart

Send rescue not patrol boats

That would be a start


And colour is an issue

We can’t pretend it’s not

If these were white folk

Perishing at sea

But they’re coloured

And they’re foreign

And they have such funny names

I don’t know what they’re doing here

Disturbing quiet dreams


We need an education

We need to meet these folk

We need to hear their stories

Their memories their hopes

We’ve travelled all the world ourselves

On holidays abroad

Time to welcome refugees

Time that they were heard


Brian Fahy

27 November 2021

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