Crossing the Red Sea Poem

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Physical Journeys in Crossing the Red Sea by Dilshan Dassanayake In Peter Skrzynecki’s poem “Crossing the Red Sea”, it explores the long journey endured by refugees who flee from their country in the aftermath of a horrific war. The poem reflects especially, towards the emotional trauma that is associated with immigrating to another country. Skrzynecki’s use of rubric as the focus, turns towards the “shirtless...Barefooted” people on the ship as he evokes a sense of severe poverty. Skrzynecki also quotes, “sunken eyes” and “Red banners” which is associated with their past sufferings that they have encountered during the war. However their suffering has been eased by the calmness of the Red Sea. “Crossing the Red Sea” is similar to “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, as Huck and Jim float along on their raft, without a motor waiting for the river to carry them towards freedom and a new life.

Crossing the Red Sea
Many slept on deck
Because of the day's heat
Or to watch a sunset
They would never see again
Stretched out on blankets and pillows
Against cabins and rails:
Shirtless, in shorts, barefooted,
Themselves a landscape
Of milk-white flesh
On a scoured and polished deck.

Voices left their caves
And silence fell from its shackles
Memories strayed
From behind sunken eyes 
To look for shorelines
Peaks of mountains and green rivers
That shared their secrets
With storms and exiles

1949, and the war
Now four years dead-
Neither master nor slaves
As we crossed a sea
And looked at red banners
That Time was hoisting (note: capital time) (not my note HC) In mock salute

Patches and shreds
Of dialogue
Hung from fingertips and unshaven faces
Offering themselves
As a respite from the interruption 
Of passing waves.

"I remember a field
Of red poppies, once behind the forest
When the full moon rose."

"Blood Leaves similar dark stains
When it Runs for a long time
on stones or Rusted iron"

And the sea's breath 
Touched...
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