A Boy’s Life – For Taj who is now attending school as well as working!

Born in difficulty from his torn mother,

pride shines on his toddling steps, while

a faithless father leaves the separating

son to walk in his hard work shoes.  No

education. He’ll work for a lazy landowner

or down a mineral mine. Home is piling 

on his puny shoulders, the growing weight 

of his worries. Forced by circumstances,

they wave him off each day into the 

whispering of the dawn, til the darkness

brings him hobbling and hungry, sleepy

but with coins that will buy his siblings

food. Exhausted by his daily grind he 

grows into a man wishing his needs

to be met, but he has given all to his

family, who singing his praises lose

him to a wife, but will he too, be sifted 

after years of slave labour, craving a

different life or will his body give up

and we find him laid in a fallow field 

somewhere: a faithful soul at rest,

old before he was young and used

before

unique.

A Girl Child’s life

Tiny hands beat the air as she was pushed from her 

mother’s body and gasped for breath emitting a sharp 

healthy cry of hope, fear, pain and hunger. A crumpled,

dimpled face blinked at the light. So she started her long

interminable fight for safety, fair treatment, to thrive,

 to shine as that light in a world that has already 

passed judgement on her because of her gender.

She opened like a blossom of Spring whose petals

floated like pink sails to the earth leaving the precious

beginnings of fruitfulness. The frosts of misogyny 

burned the burgeoning fruit and cast it to the ground

where it lay unfulfilled, 

dying 

and 

promise 

lost.

Demons of Trafficking and Immigration.

The chubby cheeked child pressed his teary 

face against the cold metal box, then deeply

burrowed to find the breast, that nurtured 

him, empty as his mother’s body struggled 

with starvation instead of promised salvation.

————–

The pieces of silver exchanged brought her

hope of a golden place; where work was to

be in plenty, where people lived in safety

and her beautiful child educated, a rated,

respected man of hard work and honour.

——-

Crushed together someone called on their

God to help, but no avenging angel winging

to their aid. Someone tried beating through

steely sides, but they had no tools only tired 

debilitated bodies and no space to move.

——–

Someone found voice and cried for help,

but no one heard, they feared none cared.

she heard someone gasp and fall and knew

another body lay like an Autumn leaf and

each of them will fall to rot in this hole of hell.

————-

Listening they heard a vehicle pass by and

cursed the car’s ignorance of their plight.

Fighting for breath in the foetid, fear filled

air, they hear again and cry out in reaction

that this will lead to ending incarceration.

———

Sounds and more sounds and the mother

shifted the mewling infant in her sweating

arms and prayed for the help to be true.

With opening doors came hope, water,

food, medics alongside cruel diplomats who

——

send them back to whence they came, and

the betrayal of money spent for freedom,

leaves her empty pockets to protect the son,

of her womb, fatally wounded by poverty

and immigration’s actions they lie in a

grief

filled

grave.

Boats at anchor

A few boats, seaworthy, fish empty,

rock at their anchors, harbour hungry 

for the churning waters and open sea,

feeling the scaly bodies squirming on

the deck gasping for dying breaths.

——–

The tide raises eager expectations

and politely, bobbing slowly pulling 

at the bondage, she lifts her prow to

proudly show she is prettily prepared,

to go and joyously seek to serve.

——

A prod at the stiff stern and a sound

of heavy boots pounding the creaky

worked, wood frame stretching corking

til timbers quiver, solemnly shaking.

The engine spluttering then stuttering

——-

Guttering, as its motor coughs and 

sneezes, billowing black smoke

and then steadily it chunters and

moves the butting boat into the 

seething channel, as tides fight

currents as they charge up the 

salty beach turn and surge up to

her gunnels, while angry hungry

gulls squawk and scream in the

wind whipped waves, hurling their

—-

invective at the small vessel as it

faces the press of ghostly wrecks

and calls. She stumbles and settles,

jostled by the churning waters as

greedy nets fill with sun sparkling

—–

scales and flipping fins, raising a

sea salt smell as they flap and flip

in the drying airless air. The wood

creaks and groans as the tiller tilts,

turns for home. The anchor weighed,

—-

she is silent now, and as the sea

shallows its waters, feeling the tug

of the brightening moon, emptying

the bay of billows, leaving muddy

puddles and the boat tips to the

side,

stranded,

willing,

waiting.

Cold Hearts

They know it is wrong, the science is clear, but

prefer high profile jobs to turning the tide?

They hang on their hearts, the voices of children,

but hungry oil and coal eats its way into their

homes, hopes, failed harvests and he denies

with sown seeds of power. So, head’s together 

they ignore truth and make vague promises

that are sound bites to eat away more of the

land, the farms, the crops, melting glaciers

but not the ice around their hearts.