A poem about the ability for European people with passports to cross a border with no trouble whatsoever, while people who seek refuge experience borders as an obstacle and is the cause for serious hardship. It was inspired by walking from Greece to Macedonia as a person from a foreign land.


cross lines without meaning

just one look

ahead without dreaming

that’s all it took


i get a pass

while others not so fast

we all foreigners to this land

to us all it is foreign, land


stressed they will tress

it’s such a mess around me

i am free because of what’s in my hand

they are trapped as it’s lost from their hands


walls put up, imaginary

fences and barbed wire

find a place for the dead to be buried

hopes crushed, barely living tired


borders taking shape

an unwelcoming sign

people following orders

media frenzy turns them blind


eyes opened to reality

difference between love and hate

accepting inhumane casualties

divided yet the same fate


all part of one kind or so I thought

your birth place identifies who you are

word association what we are taught

reached for non-existing stars


seek refuge in world you don’t know

not allowed to stay

get refused for what you can and cannot show

please go back the same way


while i freely travel

whole lives get unraveled

if only we would break down the borders

that we created to separate and keep order


by Jelle Wassenaar- Issues Without Borders member, former volunteer in a refugee camp


Proposed by

on 26 July 2017

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