tough subject to tackle glad you are doing just that -not sure about the
dog seems maybe bit lightweight I wonder if the poem could start at
'On certain islands off -thanks P
From: Poetryetc: poetry and poetics [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Max Richards
Sent: 06 August 2014 12:40
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: 'Self Harm'
'My life is really deth' wrote one 12-year-old girl who had been physically
abused in her homeland and whose mother had self-harmed in detention. She
had not eaten or spoken for three days and was threatening self-harm. 'I
wont to die becous in deth I know I can't live in here any more. If I go
back to xxxxx I know they wil kell me and kell my family.'
My dog is into self harm -
bored by indoor captivity
she sprawls on the carpet,
rasps her tongue along her left
foreleg till it's scraped raw.
Ointment on it is meant
to make the wound repellent.
Something compels her
to lick it off and keep licking.
A trip to the vet is called for -
bringing back what they call
an Elizabethan ruff - plain
plastic that curves over
and is fastened into a cone,
narrow at the dog's neck,
wide at the outer rim.
She can drink, eat, walk about -
in spaces wider than the ruff -
how wide she's slow to learn,
scraping on doorways still.
How many days before a cure?
Last time was weeks. This time -
we'll see. The ruff is part of a genial
game she plays with us -
rumpled ears, wagging tail.
On certain islands off
the Australian coast, kids
and their mothers are interned.
They've risked their lives seeking
refuge from hard countries,
find themselves now detained
with hopes of admission denied
by this country made of migrants.
Months pass - for some, years.
Self harm is noted, even suicide.
Head-banging children, hunger strikes,
panic attacks, refusal to speak,
Whoever governs Australia,
they do too little to help.
They'd rather 'send them home',
these homeless people.
The men have a harder time.
Captivity, anger, self harm.
Bad also for the captors.
Without end - elsewhere, we're told,
every border is being swamped,
almost every ocean risked.
Many have drowned, more will.
Asylum? detention harms, meanwhile.=