Welcome to Eureka Street

back to site

Invading Australia

A door please!

I live in a house
With no doors
No windows
No roof
A pigeon dropped me in
It promised me a door
But in this house
I found no doors
No windows
No roof
I see the rainbow in the sky
I shout for help
No one hears
There are no doors to their ears
I climb the walls
Up ... up ... up ...
To the roofless top
I try
I fall
I break
I cry
No one sees me fall or cry
There are no windows to their eyes
Tomorrow come, hurry please
Before the rainbow disappears
And all that's left for me to do
Is breathe ...

Saba Hakim


one lucky boat

Resting on sea shelves in dry city suburbs,
schooled in the dust of bush hamlets,
flapping and stabbing the air,
to be garnished, canned with sauce —
more will be; most won't,
in the wide sea of those unnetted
on the far side of one lucky boat.

Ray Carmichael


Invading Australia, a fragment

'We have wished to invade Australia like you'd never imagined
from where we are based in Pakistan and Afghanistan
countries reduced by hegemony to hell
we ruled the waves till we were in
sight of an island that looked from afar
like a welcome entity
but little have we expected this
that the waves ruled became bigger and louder
more powerful than Pakistan
or Afghanistan
as if designed to defeat
the two
like America
oh, Australia, our hope
our dream
our fantastic
of man-eating waves —
we, the 33 would-bes
will now live
the rest of our death
in your waters
worshipping you forever
in your vicinity
as our saviour
as our designer
and as our keeper
for, after all
we drowned
near you
it's better
than nothing'

Ouyang Yu 

Saba Hakim is a project coordinator at Australian MADE (Muslim Adolescent Development & Education) Inc.

Ray Carmichael is a Queensland writer whose poems have been published in a number of Australian journals over some decades. Much of his work has been published in Studio, a journal of Christians writing. He aims to     present realism while exploring the mystery of spirituality. He is currently working on a collection of poems. 

Ouyang Yu headshotOuyang Yu is a poet writing in both English and Chinese. He has published 65 books, including The Kingsbury Tales: A Complete Collection (2012) and Self Translation (2012). 

Topic tags: new australian poems



submit a comment

Existing comments

Ouyang Yu what a hauntingly sad poem! Its truth and desperation made me cry...and that's not much of a response really to the plight of our refugees. And Saba Hakim I know what you're talking about too. I remember being in an asylum in India and waiting to get home. It was a dreadful time even though I had doors and roofs.

Bernadette | 02 April 2013  

Similar Articles

Rebuilding humanity after workplace horror

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 04 April 2013

Stéphanie loses her legs in a workplace accident. Alain is a single father who becomes her confidante. Their sexual encounters are shown to restore and affirm her dignity; they highlight the physicality of the act, particularly how Stéphanie's confidence in her own changed body flourishes through it.


Living in the echo of suicide

  • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
  • 05 April 2013

I know and love people who struggle with depression. I've lost friends to suicide. Depression was my constant companion at times and suicide an alluring, far country. A recent novel delves into the life of a family reeling from the suicide of a child, and shows that even in the deepest recesses of grief, joy can interrupt.