Sanctuary267

1 November 2016

In February 2016, after a High Court ruling against a challenge to the legality of Australia’s practices of arranging for the detention of asylum seekers in offshore facilities, a grass roots campaign mobilised around the slogan #LetThemStay. 267 people, including many children of whom 37 were babies, had been brought to the mainland for medical and related reasons; they were now threatened with return to detention in Nauru. Photographs of the infants appeared on the front page of daily papers in the Fairfax group. A Brisbane hospital, several churches and some State Governments were among those who responded with offers of sanctuary. To date many of the 267, including all the babies, have not been returned to Nauru, but are in community detention in Australia. (Information drawn from Get Up Campaign and a variety of daily news articles.)

At 31 March 2016, there were 468 people (363 men, 55 women, 50 children) in detention in Nauru, and 905 men in detention on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. 1679 people including 17 children were in various levels of detention facility in Australia or Australian Territories, from Christmas Island to Villawood, from Perth to Melbourne. 655 people (184 men, 154 women, 317 children) were in community detention in Australia.


Sanctuary 267

Note: The names listed are not those of asylum seekers per se, but reflect the diversity of persons, any one of us, who might have been in this situation.


Sanctuary 267

Aadya.
Aaron.
Abdallah.
Abdul Rahman.
Abed.
Abraham.

Adam.
Aditi.
Ahmed.
Ai.
Aicha.
Alejandro.

Alexandra.
Ali.
Alice.
Aline.
Alonso.

Althea.
Amahle.

Amar.
Amelia.

Amina.
Aminata.
Anna.
Angelo.

Antonio.
Anya.

Ariel.

Asmita.
Augustine.

Ava.
Avery.
Awa.
Aya.

Aziz.

Bakary.
Bandar.
Bandile.
Barbara.
Beatrice.

Benjamin.
Berat.

Bintou.

Bokamoso.
Bolormaa.
Bruno.
Camilla.
Carlos.

Carmen.
Carolina.
Celine.
Charlotte.
Chih-ming.

Chloe.
Clarence.
Con.

Dalal.
Daniel.

David.
Dejan.
Diego.
Dimitar.

Diya.
Djeneba.
Doha.
Dylan.

Eisha.
Eitan.
Elena.

Elise.

Elizabeth.
Elnur.

Emil.
Emilia.
Emily.
Emma.
Eric.

Esther.
Ethan.
Fahd.
Farah.
Fatiha.

Fatima.

Fatoumata.
Feng.

Fozia.

Frances.
Francesca.
Frank.

Gabriel.
Gamalat.

Gamila.
George.

Giovanna.
Goran.

Guo.
Gustavs.

Habib.
Habiba.

Hai.
Hana.

Hannah.
Hao.
Harper.

Hassan.
Hasti.

Hatice.
Hawa.

Ha-yoon.
Hessa.
Hina.

Hinano.
Hiro.

Hoda.
Hussein.
Hydar.

Ibrahim.
Iminathi.
Indira.
Ion.
Irene.

Isabella.

Isidora.
Islande.

Jack.
Jacob.

James.
Jana.

Jandamurra.
Javier.
Jay.

Jayden.
Jean.

Jennifer.
Jeremiah.

Jesse.

Jessica.
Jie.
Ji-woo.

John.
Joon-seo.

Joo-won.
José.
Joshua.

Julie.
Jun.
Justin.

Kadiatou.
Karabou.

Karim.
Karima.
Kavya.
Khadija.
Khaled.
Khayone.
Kheira.
Kirra.
Klea.
Krishna.

Kungawo.
Kyla.
Leá.

Lejla.
Leon.
Lesedi.
Lethabo.

Liam.
Lili.
Linda.

Logan.
Louise.
Lowitja.
Lucía.
Luis.
Mahmoud.
Malak.

Manua.

Mary.
Maryam.
Marwa.

Mateo.

Max.
Maya.
Mehdi.

Meriem.

Mia.
Molly.
Mona.

Muhammed.
Mustafa.

Myra.
Nada.

Natalia.
Nesreen.
Nicola.

Nishi.
Noah.
Noreen.

Nur.

Odval.
Olive.

Omar.
Omri.

Onni.
Oumou.

Paul.
Peng.
Peter.

Poema.
Prasert.

Ralfs.

Ramón.
Renz.
Reza.

Richard.
Rin.
Ruby.

Ryan.
Sakineh.

Salma.
Sarah.
Sekou.

Selim.
Sinayabonga.
Si-woo.
Sophia.

Souta.
Stefan.

Sunita.
Susan.
Tali.

Tao.
Tareq.

Tehei.
Teiva.
Thomas.

Ting.
Tobias.
Umar.
Valentina.
Valeria.

Vedad.

Vincent.
Victoria.
Virginia.

Wei.
William.
Wiremu.

Xian.
Ximena.
Yael.
Yan.
Yassin.
Ya-ting.

Ye-joon.

Yi.
Ying.
Yong.
Yoon-seo.
Yusuf.
Yuuma.

Zara.

Zeynab.
Zhen.

Zoe.
Zofia.
Zoran.

1.         the shelter of a cloud passing across the sun
2.         stained glass rainbows her child’s face
3.         a tent that does not leak
4.         a mosquito net
5.         a seaworthy life
6.         a father rocks a daughter in time with the sea

7.         a Brisbane hospital
8.         a bowerbird chick in a poet’s home
9.         fresh water
10.        the beginning of an open text
11.        a chorus of human voices
12.        each in counterpoint

13.        the scent of familiar herbs
14.        clean sheets
15.        the sound of rain on the roof at night
16.        room
17.        space for another

18.        an unstitched coastline
19.        she sews a child’s hem with dry hands

20.        adequate employment
21.        a sufficiency of bees

22.        to commit to memory unfamiliar names
23.        of birds
24.        and flora
25.        to be alert to the redback in the garden

26.        the poet laureate of detention
27.        her bags of rice

28.        a sudden calm

29.        a tenancy of appointment
30.        a child’s construction kit

31.        a wedding cake topper snug in a pocket
32.        a woman and a man
33.        two women
34.        two men

35.        a child pours water on a child’s hands

36.        an open gate
37.        a closed gate
38.        a cool house
39.        a warm house
40.        context

41.        her hand samples the sun
42.        air shifts in a sheoak

43.        if community

44.        a possum evades a cat
45.        the milky way
46.        two stars point to a cross
47.        she looks up
48.        an infant nuzzles

49.        an insufficiency of fear
50.        a sufficiency of awe
51.        water spills over stones
52.        a monolith in the desert
53.        the first splash of rain on dry earth

54.        a gaze that dips
55.        respect
56.        quilled language

57.        the evidence of hope
58.        a free thought

59.        a breath
60.        and then another
61.        and then
62.        suddenly a hush of stars

63.        when the axle tightens
64.        a well sprung cart
65.        a linen-filled chest
66.        the rocking the rocking the rocking

67.        green eyes imprinted in memory
68.        every day a breath shared
69.        from your birth to his death

70.        a street beyond the front fence

71.        as if home
72.        as if home

73.        unbending the barbs of a polis
74.        the unpicked knot
75.        of tension
76.        of injury
77.        a story unravelling as you speak

78.        a tapestry of tact
79.        to touch
80.        without rancour
81.        to touch
82.        the nine tails only a museum piece

83.        only only only

84.        a life worth the trespass
85.        an adieu worthy of a future

86.        to approach the asymptote of your want

87.        a stability of climate
88.        if only
89.        if only

90.        she writes her name on a leaf
91.        she shuffles the forms

92.        a bureaucracy of good intention
93.        the strength of a gesture that is mostly true

94.        every impetus toward
95.        hospitality

96.        to be the word’s guest
97.        if a poem could construct a dwelling

98.        stone and wood and a candle in a niche
99.        its flicker and fade

100.       the solidity of a thing
101.       an arm, an embrace, a threshold kept

102.       she wades through stubble
103.       in an open-necked shirt
104.       the dust is stirred by her tread

105.       only the wind’s language
106.       and no need for translation

107.       a resistant symbol or a vacant sign
108.       no vacancy

109.       a handwritten letter
110.       one hundred thousand signatures
111.       a genuflection, a genuflection, a genuflection

112.       the weaving of scraps returned to the limb
113.       of the tree swaying and claws that hold

114.       your name in the mouth of a neighbour
115.       his alien kindness
116.       her shared world

117.       the comfort of culture
118.       its unsettling conservation
119.       its disturbing transformation
120.       its resilient transience
121.       and yours

122.       to name a child for an ancestor

123.       your empathy for a woman moving house
124.       freedom to exercise kindness

125.       the pronunciation of a name
126.       good will

127.       the interval between drops on a roof
128.       her face softening

129.       a head bowed, eyes closed in prayer
130.       your prayer mat on the floor of your home
131.       the hours rung

132.       a solidarity of nannas
133.       knitting

134.       a quilt of lobbyists
135.       clothed for the season

136.       frith

137.       a compassionate peril
138.       dangerous mercies
139.       the limits of the open

140.       a ruling
141.       against an unruly state

142.       a separation of nations
143.       opportunity
144.       parliamentary remorse

145.       she delivers kelp to his door
146.       a garden compost heap
147.       a wilderness of exotic species tended

148.       a white fantasy
149.       renounced

150.       historically a crime admitted
151.       a punishment postponed
152.       a tug of war between church and state
153.       a space of civility
154.       temporarily
155.       an idea in becoming
156.       towards law
157.       a way station in the rule
158.       of monarchs and monks
159.       reckoning contrition

160.       each time she sings
161.       a leaf falls
162.       a latch unhinges

163.       salutation without appointment
164.       the depth of skin
165.       her hair is held in a bird’s beak
166.       the wind takes the grey thread

167.       the vacancy
168.       a suggestion of singularity
169.       the allowance of an embrace

170.       she imagines she kneels
171.       weeping
172.       beside a hospital bed
173.       and on the tiled floor
174.       the sun spills
175.       indifferent in its own way
176.       to the raw and the salve

177.       a failure of imagination — to say this

178.       if a hand opens
179.       if a hand
180.       if a hand and a hand

181.       to have enough to give

182.       the peal of prayer
183.       the peal of prayer
184.       the peal of prayer

185.       to fashion a peace

186.       if you lean against a chimney
187.       if a house is constructed around a hearth
188.       if the fibres of the carpet soften to your steps

189.       the wear of things used well
190.       a banksia of irregular becoming

191.       what it is to be
192.       this life of generosity

193.       she walks home in autumn rain
194.       she dries her shoes in late morning sun
195.       the next day

196.       a future to welcome
197.       a future to submit to
198.       a future to shape

199.       allowing for the impossible

200.       to hear frogs in the wetlands
201.       to see five pelicans cross the sky

202.       she is chasing the cat from the garden
203.       on behalf of possums and birds

204.       to persevere
205.       to dare to speak

206.       to imagine a child
207.       an untamed growing toward
208.       ripening

209.       the wisdom of infancy
210.       to accept solace

211.       hostage

212.       the kindness
213.       that knows the needful invisibility
214.       and the crucial being seen

215.       the space bar and the tab
216.       that mimic
217.       a room of your own

218.       she practices a spare sympathy
219.       a warm drink and time to speak

220.       even the clichés of welcome
221.       written with paint on a sheet
222.       holes cut out for the wind

223.       a march
224.       a chant
225.       a banner
226.       things that fail you

227.       if you were able to visit her
228.       what would she offer you?

229.       this question of capacity
230.       this question of capacity
231.       this question of capacity

232.       if the body
233.       is a temple

234.       sanctum
235.       sanctus
236.       sacrosanct

237.       dignity
238.       a quality of a roman elite
239.       to live for an empire
240.       or its minion
241.       to be free of this

242.       aphesis

243.       quietly in the suburbs
244.       thirty-seven infants in their cots
245.       ninety-one children at play

246.       a word for preservation
247.       of other species
248.       and our own

249.       that gives to silence nothing
250.       that gives to speech nothing
251.       that gives to justice nothing
252.       in excess of hope
253.       the privilege of more
254.       than making do

255.       she is safe enough to be disappointed

256.       a star and a crescent
257.       a cross and a book
258.       an emu flying
259.       a story of bunyips
260.       and deep water
261.       a reviving flood

262.       necessity

263.       her births are accompanied
264.       her bones are buried in good time

265.       what cannot be imagined
266.       other and more than
267.       the thing you came for

 


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