Mulu’s Poem for Refugee Week

Amharic script
የሃገር ውስጥ ኑሮ አልሞላ ሲለን 
ሰርተን እንድንኖር ተሰደን መጣን 
እንጀራ ፍለጋ ከሃገር ከወገን በግድ ተለይተን 

አይናችን ባዘነ የሃገር ሰው ፍለጋ 
ይሆን መስሎን ነበር ሁሉም አልጋ ባልጋ 

እጃችንን ሰጠን ማረፊያ ሰጡን 
ጠበቃ ፍለጋ እላይ እታች ደከምን 

ስንጠብቅ ውጤቱን በጭንቅ ሰቀቀን 
ያደለው ያገኛል ያጣ እድሉን 
ድጋሚ ይጠይቃል ፍሬሽ አፒሉን 

ልመለስ ልቅር ብሎ ያስብና 
ባዶ እጅ መመለስ ሆኖበት ፈተና 

የሰው ፊት ማየት አንገት ያስደፋል 
ቆይ ዛሬ ቆይ ነገ ትንሽ ልቆይ ሲል 

እንደወጡ መቅረት ምን ይዤ? እያልን 
ዓመታት ያልፋሉ በጭንቅ በሃዘን 

ባለ ብዙ እቅድ አላማያለው 
ያልፍልኛል ብሎ ካገር የወጣው 

ብዙ በመድከም ተቋቋምን ያሉት 
ያስቀመጡት ገንዘብ ምንም ሳይበሉት 
ስንት ሰው ረገፈ በመሰቃየት 

ሰርቼ እኖራለሁ ብለው አልመው 
እቅዱ ሁሉ ቀርቶ ሞት ቀደማቸው 

በጥሞና ሆነን ብናሰላስል 
ክፉ ይሁን ደግ በአገር ይሻላል 

yehager wust nuro almola seelen 
seriten inidininor teseden met’an 
inijera filega kehager kewegeni yegidi teleyiten 

ayinachin bazene yehager sew filega 
yihon mesilon neber hulum alga balga 

ijachinini set’en marefīya set’un 
t’ebek’a filega ilay itach dekemin 

sinit’ebik wut’etun bech’ink sek’ek’eni 
yadelew yagenyal yat’a idilun 
digami yit’eyik’al fresh apealuni 

limeles lik’ir bilo yasibina 
bado iji memeles honobet fetena 

yesewi feet mayet aniget yasidefal 
k’oy zarey k’oy nege tinish lik’oy seel 

inidewet’u mek’ret min yizhe? iyalin 
ametati yalifalu bech’ink behazen 

bale bizu ik’id alama yalew 
yalifilinyal bilo kager yewet’aw 

bizu bemedikem tek’wak’wamin yalut 
yask’emet’ut genzeb minim sayibelut 
sinit sew regefe bemesek’ayet 

seriche inoralehu bilew alimew 
ik’idu hulu k’erito mot k’edemachew 

bet’imona honen binaselasili 
kifu yihun deg bager yishalal 

Extended English translation
Living in our homeland was no longer possible 
So we fled for somewhere to live and work, blind to all the trouble 
separated from our kin and land, 
We fled seeking bread 

Barren quests for kinfolk in foreign lands, saddened our eyes 
We naively hoped it would be an easy ride  

We claimed asylum they provided accommodation 
Drained in search for a solicitor to assist with our applications  

With much mental disruption 
We waited for an asylum decision  
Lucky ones get granted refugee identifications 
The unlucky must start fresh applications 

Should I stay, or should I return? Split between the lesser of two evils  
The temptation to return empty-handed was horrible 

The yoke of misery and the dependence on others bowed our necks and crushed our souls 
Wait today, as I will be a little better tomorrow, we liked to imagine 

But years pass by sadly in depression 
With no profit to show for time fleeting by in suffering 

With many dreams and aspiration, we left our dear country 

Meanwhile, the evil oppressors who forced us into this condition 
Boast of false efforts and amass wealth in an unfair proportion 

But unhappily, they too die without relishing this 
It is sad how many have been killed in torments like this 

And if finally allowed to work we rekindle our dreams of ‘living.’ 
But with none of our many plans accomplished death catches up to us too soon 

Sometimes when I contemplate what all of this is worth  
I dare to sometimes say maybe it is better to die in one’s own land of birth