For Alfie Silcock
The foreseeable consequences
Of a merciless and xenophobic war,
Assign a small boy
To a pasty, dampened, Turkish shore,
He lies forlorn, red t-shirted
On a lonely strand.
On his face, no cry, a babe asleep,
Boat-slipped from his father’s helpless hand
While his parents wail and weep.
His little body motionless – numb,
Brought ashore by a giant wave-
How a baby-cry would help us all-
But he shall not now smell the roses on his grave.
Nor shall he know the joy of maths, or space
Or science or measured poems,
Or the vast intellectual achievements of his race.
What are the brazen kleptocrats about?
Do they fear their Maker, do they have no nagging doubt?
Or are governance beliefs
Some cynical manipulation
Of gullible believers in divisive prophets,
While innocence is robbed by unbridled thieves?
Innocents displaced scream to God for help,
While shrapnel still makes gaping holes in tired-roof soffits.
A Turkish soldier carries him away
And I can feel his numbing pain:
He hopes that
He shall never face,
The likes of this again.