My eyes are the sea

In the early hours of 2 September 2015, three year old Alan Kurdi and his family boarded a small plastic or rubber boat which capsized about five minutes after leaving Bodrum in Turkey……source
This piece is about the death of tiny three year old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian child who’s body washed up on a Turkish beach. The terrible image spread around the world and is synonymous with the plight of Syrian refugees trying to leave Turkey for Greece or other safe havens in Europe. The confronting image is too difficult for me to look at. Crying as I write this, i cannot bring myself to use it as the Feature Image, even though it stands as an over-powering reminder of the plight of children affected by conflict.
My writing generally flows from me. However sometimes I must work a poem, shape it like clay, hammer it, plead with it to take shape. This piece is important to me to release and it is one such poem. I wrestled with it, cried it out, poured it out on the floor and wished it had never been known. 

 

He was a father’s son. A mother’s son.

A baby boy. A baby. He was three. 

Soaking in his little children’s clothes.

His heart is stopped. My eyes are the sea.

 

An officer in Bodrum. A young man. 

Lifts his tiny weight and his body free.

Lifts him in his little children’s clothes.

His heart is stopped. My eyes are the sea.

 

Raised him from that cold and restless sand

A task of such responsibility,

A burden so reliant on a Saint,

To lift and carry such fragility. 

 

Wake all the time, images in flood. 

A mind never again to be set free

Sees him in his little children’s clothes.

His heart is stopped. My eyes are the sea.

 

I would have gathered him in my arms warm.

I would have clutched him to me so tight

I would have let his face feel my breath

And whispered soft “It’s alright, It’s alright”.

 

I would have sat with him somewhere warming .

With his body nearer the life of me 

Laying there in his little children’s clothes.

His heart is stopped. My eyes are the sea.

 

I turned away from the image fast

I gathered up with my other life

Safely sound with my baby to her school

Drifting on the day, dinner with my wife.

 

Then life went on and one could talk of rain

Not tiny children laid upon the beach

As a world of endless issues distract

And we all us rescind our hopeful reach.

 

And here I sit now counting syllables

So that each line might contain a group of ten  

As that would somehow make a difference.

But wait. I see the little boy again. 

 

He was a fathers son. He could be mine 

A baby boy. A baby. He was three. 

Soaking in his little children’s clothes.

His heart is stopped. My eyes are the sea.

 

 

 

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