• Refuge Online Journal

A Picnic by the Sea

Hannah Nazri


"A Picnic by the Sea"




In those years, when Papa and Mama took her to the sea

To collect seashells, to build sandcastles, to spend time with her

As the scintillating jewel in the heavens shone its mighty rays over the Mediterranean Sea

Whose gentle waves rippled and glistened invitingly

Beckoning the children to bathe in its cooling waters till they were cold and wrinkly...

There would be food so delicious that Mama always brought

Of dolma, labeneh, hummus with tahini

Grilled Mana’eesh with Za’atar, salata addas and baklava, too sweet to eat!


In those years, when Papa and Mama took her to the sea

To play ball, to play Frisbee, to be together

The fiery orb amicably flicked its flaming fingers over the Mediterranean Sea

Whose welcoming waves ambled back and forth temptingly

Beckoning the children to bathe in its cooling waters till they were cold and wrinkly...

There would always be delicious food that Mama brought...


Ah memories! What an extravagant, nonsensical thought

In this tumultuous conflict

Between human lives and the wrathful vengeance of Neptune.


As a giant lump rises in her throat, tears trickling down her cheeks, her tired legs kicking wildly to keep afloat

In the furious waves, as if emboldened by the chants of hatred and despair

Don’t bring any more of those home, we’re full up[1]

She clings desperately to the boat only to be flung into the bowels of the Channel

As seawater filled her lungs, she gasped

Mama!




[1] Sabin, L. (2021, December 1). ‘Group of Hastings fishermen block RNLI lifeboat crew’ from helping migrants at sea. The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/fishermen-rnli-crew-migrants-rescue-hastings-b1966959.html



Dr Hannah Nazri is a medical doctor, artist, poet and DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford. Hannah is committed to combining her interest in obstetrics and gynaecology career with non-profit work, not limited to youth education and women’s rights advocacy. She writes at https://hannah.nazri.org.




Recent Posts

See All

For Lebanon, Issue 1 ○ Anya Gleizer, with Rupert Stuart-Smith ○ Oil & Acrylic

For Lebanon, Issue 1 ○ Caroline King ○ For the apple head doll, the first cut / is cruelest. To find its moonmeat / face, cheeks whittled