(Lines written spontaneously after seeing the photo of the body of a little Syrian boy washed up on the beach of Bodrum, a Turkish resort town, as the family were trying to escape by boat to Greece. Tragedy of the 5 year old Syrian Civil War.3rd September 2015)
The little boy
(A Kurdish toddler
In red shirt and blue shorts)
Washed up on the beach
Of Bodrum, a Turkish resort,
Far away from home.
The sea weeps over his lifeless body,
Washing him with her foam.
He is wearing little shoes,
With velcro straps (one strap loose) :
He is lying there, face
Half-buried in the sand.
And the Aegean washes over his body
In gentle spills and surges,
Caressing with her profuse,
My eyes well up with tears;
The image hurts.
The tragedy of the Syrian war, between
Sunni Arabs, Shiites and repressed Kurds!
A quarter of a million dead,
Four millions fled;
Through an ancient nation.
The tide of refugees is swelling,
Its waves rushing in,
Tearing through Europe's coasts
And borders and fences.
(It's a Muslim invasion,
The Hungarians sense.)
Countries in panic shut their doors;
They cry out, 'We can take no more! '
Embraces these poor, tormented souls.
O mothers of the world,
I mourn with you!
I weep for the tragic loss
Of this innocent victim of desperate straits.
My long-complacent, uncaring heart
Is torn apart.
My soul aches.
The little boy hides his face;
But will humanity hide its shame?
Callous nations close their eyes,
Wash their hands off,
Pass on the blame!
Oh, this is such a huge disgrace!
I see humanity condemned to the hilt.
The dead child points to collective guilt.
Tan, this poem is beyond amazing! The most heart rendingly magnificent and poignant poem I have ever read on this site to date! Welcome back to Poemhunter! !
Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate your remarks. This was written from the heart!
You right! That photograph is so wrenching, the colors of the boy's clothes are so bright but the corpse seems rigid. I read your poem before seeing that picture. In your poem the sea plays the role of compassion: you describe it as washing the body, caressing it, never buffeting it. One dead child becomes representative of this tragedy of violence, and beginning with stanza 3 you address the larger political issues. And resolving them will be the only way to prevent another child's death. The message of the sea is COMPASSION FIRST, POLITICS OF POWER LAST. I applaud your passionate appeal to humanity in the last stanzas. You have given all that you can in these words of moral fervor.
a very sad descriptive poem of the death of an innocent child and yes you are right humanity is to blame? ..............powerfully well written Tan
A heart wrenching sight has been depicted so nicely. I am really sad after reading this poem on unhumanity, the innocent boy was nipped at tender age. The last three lines reveal its picture.... Oh, this is such a huge disgrace! I see humanity condemned to the hilt. The dead child points to collective guilt. Fantastic... Thanks...10
Oh Dear God! ! ! ! ! ! Dear Lord! ! ! ! ! ! How Heart Breaking! ! ! ! ! How Powerfully Said And So Deeply Felt! ! ! ! ! Tears The Heart Apart! ! ! ! ! Thank You For So Powerfully Voicing This! ! ! ! ! (And) Sharing To This World! ! ! ! ! Tearfully! ! ! ! ! , Definite! ! ! ! ! 10S! ! ! ! !
I have been trying to come to terms in words with the Syrian tragedy for some time and you have penned it down for me and for everybody else. A great poem in every way in my humble opinion. Well done Pan.
Powerful. Such photos and such writing compel us to re-frame simple data into a more human context. Whatever decisions lie ahead, we must never forget that there are actual human beings at the end of all our policies and procedures.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem
What heart wrenching sight and what a poignant write! All of us have been shocked to see that helpless victim washed ashore after the over crowded boat capsized! This refugee exodus and their suffering should shake the sleeping human conscience! Man should end his pugnacity and embrace his brother in love! Will such a time dawn in human history! Let children like Aylan live in safety and not be nipped by cruel fate before those buds bloom! Top marks!
Thank you, Valsa. I believe a better world is around the corner. But the world will have to go through a terrible shaking because of its sins!