Refugees Welcome in New Zealand!

17 January 2018

Our Cenacle community in Waikanae stands in solidarity with millions of women, men and children who each day suffer as a result of war and violence.  We honour the innocent lives lost, both in war and conflict and in the desperate and dangerous journey to find a safe new home for all.  We take a stand – as so many people have come together around the world to say “Refugees Welcome in New Zealand!”

We invite you to relect on Anne’s poem, Refuge of Spices.  Anne wrote this poem some years ago when she was in Hyde Park, London.  She retrieved a ball which a little boy had thrown and was unable to reach.  Anne and the mother of the child had a conversation. The family were refugees from Iraq.

Refuge of spices

The woman from Iraq tows
her children through the park.
Wind troubles her black 
robes painting a ship
sailing on a green sea.
Her children run free as waves.
The woman sits by the lake
Oasis in a strange land
lacking the hospitality of raisins and sweet tea.
She throws bread to the two swans
that paddle her lostness to the other side.
Allows the solitude of swans
to carry her home where palms
and palaces welcome her
beneath the blue dome of sky.
Feels the desertion of exile
beneath her breast
beneath her fingernails
refuge of spices.

© Anne Powell