My poem Uppgivenhetssyndrom has been published in Issue 7 of the wonderful Other Terrain Journal. The theme of this issue is ‘We Too’ and includes a powerful introduction by Tom Meagher who writes that “in this issue we explore the tragedy of the untold stories of forgotten people and the unseen scars borne by those who survived, while we remember those who did not”. It also includes a searing poem, ‘Promised Land’, by my friend Mohammad Ali Maleki, currently detained on Manus Island.

My thanks to Other Terrain’s poetry editor Anne Casey for including our work in the journal, and my congratulations to her and the team on producing such an important and timely issue. 


The unconscious is a precise and even pedantic symbolist. — D. M. Thomas

All over the camps / children’s eyes / revolve inwards / like moons
Their muscles wane / as minds release / cruel world

They scored their grief with razors / they lit their flesh / like flares
But now their knees lie still / as metaphor / for resignation

Behind fences / limbs grow thin / enough to slip / through loopholes
Force feeding tubes tether / life to life

Judges sanction portals / mothers’ bodies flail glass
Porous eyelids gauge / time to retire

First thirst / then speech / then sight / then sense expire

Beneath the ice / you wend the blank / pathways of your mind
Your body / crossing borders / liquefied

Withdrawn / so far / so far / so far / inside

What interim world are you hiding in?
In dreams / I hear you calling / with the voice of my own child

I keep turning vacant corners / looking
For liminal beings / lost little ones / my loves

*Resignation Syndrome is a rare psychiatric condition experienced by refugee children in Sweden and now by children detained on Nauru, who withdraw, as a result of trauma, into an unconscious state

Comments 2

  1. Another powerful poem from you Michele! And with over 60 million people currently displaced around the world, thank you for shining your razor sharp gaze on those, especially the children, that we forget, neglect & traumatise through our governments self-centred policies.

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