Life in the shelters was crowded and cumbersome, and it pushed people to their physical and emotional limits.
‘Some men will drive on spreading terror
Some will spread joy within the shelter
One will stay bitter in a corner
While one kneels to the Lord in prayer
Some will fall short and blame the leader
Some will be giver some receiver
All sorts of action and reaction
In dealing with the same frustration
Brings out the best in us
Or brings out the worst
Adversity will bless or curse.
Will you be blessed, will you cursed?
Some people try to break the curfew
Some exercise a common virtue
Some receive strangers with arms open
Some take advantage of the system
Some will attack the hand which feeds them
While some show great appreciation
Some adhered to a hurting nation
With sudden rent and food inflation’
– Extract from Song 'Adversity' by Zunky 'n Dem
‘This is how you begin again:
pack books worn with faded ballpoint pen.
Catch ferry bobbing under ash-clouds:
stomach churning up mostly non-perishable items
packed in yellow plastic bags;
hold child tightly against a bleak sky.
The mountain is behind us now.
Would have preferred to stay,
but no time for sentimentality
when everyone is going who knows where;’
– 'Salvage', poem by Yvonne Weekes, In Weekes, Yvonne. Nomad. House of Nehesi, 2019.