Written in 2015
There are no jobs on a dead planet
no song in a deaf man’s ear
no laughter in starving children’s eyes
no arm strong enough to save
all those refugees from drowning,
sinking in a sea of indifference.
There is too much love in a mother’s breast
too much joy in a shared humanity
too little fear in a girl like Malala Yousafzia
to be impeded by religious fundamentalists
who want to keep the world ignorant
and want to keep women suppressed.
There is no love distributing crumbs from the table
no pride in doling money from the parish poor box
no hope is transferred through dispensing charity.
There is no joy to be found in feeling pity.
Seeking to distinguish between the worthy and others
diminishes all involved in the sacrilege.
Suffering can only be abolished by generosity
freely given, without contempt but with humility.
Freedom can only be shared – it cannot be owned.
Mutuality is what strengthens liberty
being part of the struggle for all humanity
is the only privilege I can offer you.
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson