From a Home to a Home

Migrants in Melbourne:

‘The search for home unites human and winged travellers in a unique exhibition involving sixteen artists from seven countries…’

Friday 25 November – Thursday 8 December
Opening: Friday 25 November , 6.00–9.00pm
BSG, 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Gallery hours: Tues–Fri 10am–8pm; Sat–Sun 10–6pm

More information at

Immigration Nation:

English lessons at Bathurst Migrant Camp 1951. Courtesy National Archives of Australia

English lessons at Bathurst Migrant Camp 1951. Courtesy National Archives of Australia


More at

See also

I’ll tell you why.
To survive

the onslaught of religion.
To outlive

the ghosts of martyrs.
To recover

from the world’s longest war
since WWII. To live

beyond the hatreds
of patriotism. To see

the kinder face of humanity.
To think

free of the Faith’s manacles.
To believe

without the obligation
of forming belief.

To discover
the basic joys of being.

The price? I’ll tell you.

Marginalised to the point
of disappearance.

Barred for nothing
more profound than a shade

of skin, a tone
of speech, a taste

of lifestyle. Alienated
beyond the word.

Ignored by the mighty.
Detested by the commoner.

Worth it? Doubtless.
To finally grasp

humanity’s fraudulent truth.
To dream

the sweetness of equality.
To see past

the façade of brotherhood.
To be touched

you might say, by the rays
of a luminous discovery.

To abandon
all faith, and come to cherish

the immense solitude
of non-believing.

To desire. To know
the power of desire. To wait

joyfully amid unpalatable sadness.
Recommend it?

Only to loathsome enemies
and to my dearest friends.

by Iranian-born Australian-based writer Ali Alizadeh

More at


Ali Alizadeh


Home from home

From a home to a home:

A new project from the artists and makers of the wonderful Flyway Print Exchange seeks ‘to create compassion and understanding for both the human travellers who come to our country in the hope of finding a safe haven and for the shorebirds that rely on our coastal wetlands’.



More information and image at

‘No-one leaves home, unless home is the mouth of a shark’:

Young British poets speak out for the flightpaths and arrivals of refugees at

Born in flight

 25 December 2015

 Born overnight

‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’ Luke 2.7

wasserman inn syrians

Cartoon by Dan Wasserman for the Boston Globe at

Born in flight


Liqaa, baby Limar and husband Basel in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan



Born at height

Ciconia_ciconia_juv_smallHuman-made nests welcome migratory White storks in Poland

Image at

Fighting for rights

from Refugee Blues by W H Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew;
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

The consul banged the table and said:
‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me…




Flight by water

Afloat, adrift or drowned

Death in the Mediterranean: the least bad option for so many migrants

Image at

For background information see


The current brought a stranger yesterday,

And laid him in the sand beneath a palm,

His worn young face was partly torn away,

His eyes that saw the world no more, were calm.

We could not close his eyelids, stiff with blood –

But, oh, my brother…

from Feroke, by Laurence Hope

For those in peril on the sea:

Words for those at sea the world over, by William Whiting, written in 1860.

Listen at

Arriving and moving on

Flightpath: afterwards

Dorothy Hoddinott and students

Dorothy Hoddinott and students

Image Wolter Peeters/Sydney Morning Herald

‘For almost two decades Dorothy Hoddinott and her team at Holroyd High School have been channelling the aspirations and hard work of newly arrived refugee students. She talks to Richard Aedy about Holroyd High and her teaching career…’

Listen to the half-hour interview at

‘If you look around,’ says Hoddinott, ‘six out of every 10 students here are refugees. A third have been in Australia for less than three years. Most arrive with no English at all; many are illiterate. And yet 40 per cent are going on to university. Compare that with a national average of 30 per cent. Something is happening here that is quite extraordinary.

We have children who have seen their parents murdered; we have children who have been raped; we have children who have been forced to live in poverty and fear in refugee camps. So our first task is to normalise lives – coming to school on time, having books, wearing uniforms. The semiotics of that are very powerful…’

Read the interview:




Flightpath: afterwords

I dwell in Possibility –

A fairer House than Prose –

More numerous of Windows –

Superior – for Doors –

from I dwell in Possibility by Emily Dickinson

 And from two writers who do dwell in prose:







Flying in my dream

In-flight news and views:

Burma cover 1

Remembering flightpath:

Burma index 1

Burma index 2

Burma index 3

burma index 4


Describing flightpath:

Wings on fire

Unbreathable crimson gust

Rough journey and dangerous storm

How tough and how rough it gets

Flying out to the end of this road…

from Flying in my Dream by Kee Choi

More info from the Alternative Asean Network on Burma: see

Still longing:

San San Tin by Khet Mar web

San San Tin, Burmese writer-in-exile in the US

Photo by Khet Mar. More at

The sadness of mango trees

Who leaves, who stays and what is left behind:

‘There has always been plenty of movement in the wide belt of Africa where the savannah of the Sahel gives way to ever-denser forest…But there are bigger migrations too…’

huge mango tree web


Songs for the Unsung

At that hour

when the sun slinks off

behind hills and night

– a panther –


ready to spring

upon our un-

suspecting city


i want to sing

the coiled desires

of this land

the caged dreams

of forgotten men


i want to sing

of all that was

but no longer is

of all that

never was but

could have been


i want to sing

the obsidian

unspelled hopes

of our children


i want to sing

to remind us

never to despair

that every hour

every minute

somewhere on the face

of this earth

it is glorious morning

by Cecil Rajendra