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angel boujbiha poems Arrow vol 1 no 1 contents
About borderlands Volume 1 Number 1, 2002

My name is asylum
and other poems

Angel Boujbiha


My name is asylum
I was born in here
Here is the detention centre

The centre is circled by wire
Wire makes it scaring

The wire is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 is the wire for closure
2 is the coiled barbed wire
3 is the protection for 1 and 2
4 is the razor wire on the top of 3
5 is the high fence

The higher fence
Which stops birds coming inside
Stops thoughts and imagination
Which stops the world outside
The higher fence which becomes
The border between me and Australia

My name is asylum
I was born in this centre
The centre is in Villawood
Villawood is far from Australia

It has security inside
People from all over the world
Not from every where
There are no Americans here
There are no English and Germans here
There are no Japanese in the centre

The centre is multicultural
But it has only one culture inside
The detention culture

My name is asylum
I was born detained
But not to be detained
I have 850 days
I am thinking
How did I get here?
How did I find my self here?
Here in the detention centre
I don’t even know why I am here
Nobody told me why

My name is asylum
I am still here
In the detention centre
In Sydney
In Australia.


Inside that snugness
The odors are very strong

The snugness is not a big place
Because the odors don’t go out
Even when the window is open
The odors remain indefinitely

The odors don’t belong
To the detainees
It belong ‘s to the bricks
It belongs to the concrete
It belongs to the factories around the area

The odors come from
The smoky oils
Burnt next side
By the engineers

The snugness is contaminated
When you occupy it
It gives you diseases


Being detained
Means arrested

Welcome to the process
There is a law
Plus legal adviser

One month
First test, first trial
Chapters not lessons

Learn how to count
Days, months and years

Madness, or stress
How old are you
Accelerated ageing

The detention
The routine
The flying time
Called human rights

Why so many years detained?


The detainee room
Is another detention
Not a safe heaven
Where to rest

But to become ill
Nervous and desperate

A place to create
Your own challenge
Where to compete itself

A place to become soulless
Or somniloquize

Because every day
You have to wait for tomorrow

© Angel Boujbiha 2002



Nazi camp
Munti com can


Villawood has plenty guards
Called security officers
Their duties
Are well paid

They are equipped
To secure Australia
To prevent Australia
From these children
From these criminals

What crime did baby Fatima committed?
She can not even speak
Her language is
Mama or Papa

She is born inside the detention
In 1999
Does she have any political opinion?
What does she know about crime?
Why she is detained?

Is Villawood in Australia?


When I open the door
It does not mean that I am leaving
I‘ll come back later

During the day
I see faces
Faces with anxiety
Faces marked by frustration
Mental disorder, I guess isn’t a culture

I have not dreamed since being detained
There are no more dreams
Asleep I fell guilty
Not a victim

Like an eclipse
The peaceful nation
Ignore about the detentions.


Behind the fences
Of razor and wire

Under the law bodyguards
The master
Alarms and cameras

Insides these rooms
Made of concrete
Bricks and iron

Activists and history
Are caged
Are treated some how

Ill people
Queue jumpers

When did I come to Australia?


Question: Why did you leave Algeria?
Answer: Because I am Berber.

Question: Why did you choose Australia?
Answer: Because I am an indigenous.


Children are detained
They are still detained
Birds around are free

Villawood is a peaceful area
Its inhabitants have children
They live in beautiful houses

But you little Mohamed
You are just away from villawood
Just a bit far
Far by few meters

Any way little Mohamed
Your are not Australian
You come from war
Misery and devastation

You come from
Iraq or Somalia
Algeria or Iran
From your country

We are sorry little Mohamed
You are unlawful
To leave in a beautiful house
Be happy with the detention

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ISSN 1447-0810