On Marc Bauer;  Untitled, Hastings, February 2020, Graphite drawing on paper.
Click here for more information on the exhibition Mal Etre/Performance.


Salted Water
by Rachel Marsh

All that separates us is salted water
and only by chance, I happened to be born,
on the privileged side of a border.

It is not a personal accomplishment
that my homeland was free and safe.
I have never had to risk my life to escape.

The salted water is now a graveyard of souls.
A final resting place for people who were not saved.
Their voices and stories are lost in the waves.

They did not want to swim; they just wanted to dream
of a life calm and peaceful, far from war and despair.
The sea stole their hopes of a new life elsewhere.

Animal instincts still survive in human traits
of territorial behaviour, seeing strange boats as a threat.
It is easy to turn off the news, and forget.

All that divides us is salted water
and our views of prejudice and ignorance of their plight,
of every father, mother, son or daughter.

Children wish to see rainbows and jewelled skies of stars,
but instead drown in icy waters, and gasp their last breaths,
denied their future when the sea claims them for death.

There are no differences between salted water and borders.
We are all human beings, with flesh, blood and bones.
The sea does not discriminate between borders and war zones.

A feeling of unease shivers through me,
when the salted water rages outside, and savage storms arrive.
For I do not know what it is like, to fight to survive.


Rachel Marsh is a writer living in Hastings. She studied at London Metropolitan University and her work includes children’s fiction and poetry. She has also worked at DLWP as a gallery assistant for many years and is passionate about the exhibitions and the artists who inspire her. 

Posted by sally on Friday 14 August 2020