Cradled in a rush ark, in the leaf-green Nile, Moses
floats downstream, where parted reeds disclose him near to home.
A Chalayan* coffee-table can be donned and worn—
saving time when on short notice to leave home.
In nineteen-forty-seven, SS Exodus sets
sail for Palestine, the closest it can get to home.
Leaving Babylon behind, the Rastafarians
turn their eyes to Ethiopia, their Zion home.
Shark-shoals follow coffin-ships, feeding on the bodies
of the dead, thrown overboard en route from home.
Bibles open at Exodus, St Kildans
bid farewell to their remote Atlantic island home.
Millions of the displaced become convinced
that an over-laden boat is safer than their home.
Silence in Calais jungle, where stitched-up lips protest
at bull-dozed shanties—the make-shift substitute for home.
Do we not hear alarm bells when this Earth’s people surge
across the globe, flowing like the rain away from home?
*Hussein Chalayan is the maker of a set of portable furniture, inspired by the designer’s thinking on the wartime impermanence that finds homes raided and families forced to flee or be killed.