Published 31 July 202028 August 2020 · Poetry Poetry | December 2019 Sriharan Ganeshan Please stop walking, and look at us Raise your head and look at us Raise your hands and look at us Look at the life lost in our abode Look at the tears our eyes have lost We lost a year, when we lost the dream we wept We lost two years, then we lost how to understand time We lost three years, then we lost our appetite We lost four years, then we lost sleep After five years lost, we became addicted to medical drugs After six years lost, we became addicted to the disease After the seventh year lost, we became addicted to the thought of hating our bodies Lost in our eighth year, we were addicted to oblivion Lost in our ninth year, we were addicted to the question of “What is living?” After ten years away we are slaves to a shadow of an idea of “life” Note: This is a 150-word poem reflecting on the tenth anniversary of the detention of three Tamil Asylum seekers in Australia. It was written by a Tamil asylum seeker who was detained with them for 6.5 years. Sriharan Ganeshan Sriharan Ganeshan was a film photographer and journalist in Sri Lanka before fleeing the war. He documented many of the atrocities that occurred in the north, and was forced to flee his homeland 15 years ago. Sri arrived in Australia by boat and spent six years in detention before his release in 2015. Sri lives in Melbourne, has been involved with MAFA since it started in MITA detention centre in 2013, and has participated in the BriefCase exhibition at The Immigration Museum, The Whirling at NGV and had works in a recent show at No Vacancy. His main field is writing and he is working on his volume of poetry and stories called I See The Moon and The Moon Sees Me. Sri’s writing has been published in Overland, Peril, Writing Through Fences, the Key of Sea Journal and Writing From Below. He has also produced recordings of his poetry in Tamil which have been broadcast in France. More by Sriharan Ganeshan › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 3 November 20233 November 2023 · Poetry our neighbours poem Ender Başkan our neighbours face appears above the fence – hello. our neighbours have a chat with us. our neighbours learn our names. our neighbours become our friends. our neighbours landlord thinks the market is ripe. our neighbours are told to leave. our neighbours try to buy their house at an exorbitant price to keep their kids in the school zone. our neighbours are denied. First published in Overland Issue 228 25 October 202325 October 2023 · Poetry The inhabitants Elif Sezen I died today, among many others, my grandpa died too, and our neighbours, / my best friend, the one with braided hair yes, and our sweet sweet doctors, / our motherly nurses... We heard a blast, then a whoosh of some kind, / and all gone.