lizbrownlee – poet

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As yet untitled

This is a departure from my usual subject, but it’s a poem I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

 

A young syrian boy in The Jungle.

A young Syrian boy in The Jungle, photo by Sean Hawkey.

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After the bombing
all are dead
all is gone

.
and I walk

.
I can carry only
my father’s pride
my mother’s longing
my brother’s blood
my sister’s hope

.
but my father’s pride
cannot be carried
as a refugee
so I lay it down

.
and I walk

.
when I sleep
my mother’s longing
is too painful to hold
so I lay it down

.
and I walk

.
until my shoes
fall off my feet
and I leave
my brother’s blood
and my own
on the road
as if it is worthless

.
and I walk

.
carry only
my sister’s hope
which is light

.
but this, too,
at the end,
cannot be carried

.
so I lay it down.

.

.

© Liz Brownlee 2016

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.

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Photo by Sean Hawkey/WCC, shown by creative commons licence.

19 Comments

  1. This is so moving, Liz. Beautiful, and tragic, focusing on the simple human suffering behind the (abhorrent) headlines

    Like

  2. Thea O'Brian

    All I can say about this is one word “Deep”.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

    Like

    • It’s not meant to be, Thea, I was going for speaking plainly so anyone can empathise!

      Like

  3. This is powerful and so very sad. We can only imagine what many, who have had to flee their homeland, are feeling but I think you captured it

    Like

    • Hello Birgit. These 3000 children who have no-one in the camp at Calais are who I was thinking of – they have lost everything that gives them stability and safety and many are disappearing in a place that should be a refuge.

      Like

  4. Anny King

    A very true,concise piece. I like the falling away of the deep emotional baggage until he is left with nothing. That’s the real tragedy. You highlight the human suffering with empathy and toughness. Thankyou.

    Like

    • Thanks, Anny. The way these children have been treated is a scandal – however they are treated, nothing is going to erase their memories, losses and scars, but to take away hope for a better future, that in my view is inhuman.

      Like

  5. Your poem brought tears to my eyes, Liz. A poem like this works in a way that prose could never achieve. Thank you for moving me so profoundly.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  6. This is so powerfully sad. Permission to share it on my FaceBook page. Plus i have nominated you for the Ewonderhub blogging award.check it out on http://akhymjanja.co.ke/ewonderhub-blogger-award/

    Like

  7. What a touching poem. It’s so sad that the children, the innocents, have to suffer. Thank you.

    Like

  8. blkbtslonglegs

    That was so poignant, Liz. ❤ We had four Syrian families join my daughters' school last week. I watched one little boy walk in on Monday, full of smiles. He knows no English right now, but he was still so happy. I can't even imagine what he and his family have been through.

    Like

  9. That gave me chills.

    Like

  10. Wow. A very moving piece Liz. I enjoyed it, even though it gave me a chill.

    Like

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