War on children

She stood hugging her troubled Teddy bear

in a place that is called somewhere safe, a

smiling helper asked her name. Gripping

her furry friend she smiled and cried. The 

words stuck in her throat for, how could she

say the words that break the silence and

blast her back into the tumbled world of

bangs, dust, cries, screams and tears on her

mother’s cheeks through the moving window.


Twisting her head, she spied others like her

with strangers’ heads bent towards them,

offering packets of sandwiches, drinks 

and everywhere she looked her eyes were

searching for her mother, her father and

listening for their words and surely they

will call her name. But in all the noise of

kindness her broken heart silently called

for them and someone tried to gather her

into their arms and softening their voice,


said, ‘Ucisz moje maleństwo,’ over and

over, covering their own horror and pain

by repetition and under the words they

prayed for patience and strength and that

this skinny sobbing girl would begin to

trust them to care for her. Slowly, sobs

steeped in terror subsided and a the 

small hand slipped into theirs. All round

the world this moment repeats to the


tearing of the fragment of a child’s life.

And nightmares and silence fold in on

a small person, who had been tucked in

their own bed after a story, and known

that in the morning their мати would 

come in and lovingly call them to wake, 

go to school or to the park after hugs.

and they were safe, loved and secure,

and it is all gone because Putin says so.


He has sent these children into terror 

and there will be many who respond

and help, heal and nurture them into a

safe place again. My heart breaks too

for he has sent them wantonly, wickedly

into traffickers’ snares to be hurt, killed, 

abused, and enslaved by the callous,

cruel, inhuman people. This evil crime 

of sending children to a hell is his too.

The Loss of family

She just looked,

no sight in her eyes.

as they turn into her turmoil.

He just sighed,

no hope in his soul,

as he lives on the streets.

Their young lives stolen by adults too bound up with pleasure

that they abandon the child of their loins, some sold, and

the little hands and feet beat a rhythm in their rags of the

sounds that are wound around their lives of calls and cries,

screams and tears stream down their dirty faces making 

those tracks that blind adults ignore, whoring the little ones

piteously, hideously  lasciviously taken their spirit to spit

it out and still the films are churned our teaching them

to spurn the family life that returns to a child their hope,

dignity and conformity to a way of life of security.

A Boy’s Life – For Tej 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



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