The Walk Through No Man’s Land

Refugees

The faces eager for survival.
The long walk through the cracked earth,
And little tunnels of Ataturk’s land.
The dawns of regathering your mettle,
The eves of laying down your arms,
The days that bridge dawn and dusk,
Courage and desperation.

And you just have to look at a little child
To see, how amber like, their eyes are,
Preserving the fossils of a long walk
While the soft-proteins, on their soles
And palms, turn to hedgehog skin,
And you can only guess the horror
That two innocent eyes can witness.

And here, you find entrapped
Inside a palpitation chamber, the locked
Ammunition of hate, that like
A tall pine tree, opening up and detonating
Thousands of tiny yellow pollen, shoots with no aim.
You hope to god, that invisibility boiling below
The poker face, will never hold an AK47
Or a grenade, or wear a detonating vest.

Hate, the kind that manifests in rage,
Is a sleeping giant, who when awakened,
Is no match for the innocent Lilliputians,
Little children who are caught
In the crossfire, of that never-ending war,
Divided by the count or absence, of a small piece of open skin,
That shoots little bullets, bridging life with life,
And yet lives mightier than a ballot slip
Through an open heart, the vote that counts,
In the most primal democracy of them all – love,
Which cares little, about a snippet
Of redundant skin.

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Little Jesus

manger

It seems this Christmas
It has snowed in the Sahara
After 37 long years, while in Melbourne
The temperature rises to near 40.
And over in the Arctic, Santa and his little helpers
Are waiting to deliver beautifully wrapped presents
To the needy, while over in Turkey, there are queues
Of people, gathering over a truck that delivers
Blankets, refugees that have pitched
Tents in the middle of nowhere, awaiting resettlement
Or a journey to the welcoming arms of Saxons.
Over in Aleppo, bombs are blowing
In front of orphanages and little children
Are waiting near a stunted Christmas tree
For a cessation of hostilities.

And Christmas, in these vicissitudes,
Will only serve to embellish hope to the hopeless
And mirth for the unembattled
When all the homeless can do is to remember
That both Joseph and Mary were refugees
Who perhaps didn’t have a linen-coat over their
Shoulder, or a meal to pacify the stomach sounds from within,
Who journeyed far on bare soles and a donkey’s dorsal strength
Seeking a roof to rest their feet, to deliver a child.
After all, Christmas will always be
The remembrance of an elopement from danger
A man with strong wrists and a woman with resolute faith
Who made survival, a little escape,
When the love of an unborn, God’s endowment,
Stood as the pinnacle of human feat.

This day of historical significance,
A celebration of homelessness, as those orphaned by fate
Sit around a little fireplace outside,
Remembering hummus and little loaves of bread
Telling the listening children, the heroic
Tale of Joseph and Mary, how they escaped a tyrannical power
And how a little boy was born in a makeshift-manger in a barn
How he suckled the breast of Mary in the dark
And slept on a pile of straw. And as the children
Teared hearing the new-born’s story, they could only
Realize the discernable truth
– Jesus was simply one of them.