This little raft, this tub, this oil-drum-lashed
construction on the waves, this fragile thing
with sails constructed from a ragged tablecloth
so proudly independent as it bobs and slaps
against the heaving seas, survives with crew
hand-picked to stare the foreign rabble out.
This floating island, sufficient to itself,
this little England all alone like Crusoe
on his empty beach beneath the palms,
in contemplation of its lovely littleness
while seabirds scream and glide above
and all the ocean and the skies look on.
Nicholas Murray is a poet and literary biographer and his latest poetry collection is The Migrant Ship (Melos). His new book about borders, Crossings: a journey through borders will be published later this month by Seren. He lives in Mid Wales where he and his wife, Susan Murray, run the Rack Press poetry imprint. In 2015 he won the Basil Bunting prize for poetry