All sparks extinguished.

Swallowed by brutal oceans.

Corpses by the shoreline.

A few of many.

They have names

andt the ache of hope abandoned

is borne by their coffin bearers.


We will weave our fictions,

cast the blame upon

vessels, rebels and smugglers,

upon dogmatic beliefs

and regional power struggles.

Extricate ourselves from blame

as we play an insidious game

“of lesser evils”.


Our hypocrisies

are enshrined in anthems

of freedom and compassion

sung mindlessly by millions

within nations built upon

theft and genocide.

Where euphemisms mask and offend

the blood spilt to the ground

in a ever conveniently distant past.



Yet beyond the dictates of

constructs long engraved ,

Do we all not come into being

shrouded by veils of ignorance?

Unknowing of our fate,

Of the borders we inherit,

Of our wealth or deprivations,

Of the costs or dividends

of a history of violence.

Only the fortunate forget this.


Time after time,

We are arrested into attention

when the cold truth of our collective brutality,

absent from our  manicured vision,

is brought before us.

As little Aylan was.

Washed upon that  Kurdish coastline,

a shell of lost possibility,

stripped by our lack of  moral imagination.


Yet it is in this tragic lucidity,

in the pith of our outrage,

in the surge of our compassion

that opportunities lie in wait.