2010 Poetry Challenge

National Poetry Month

Peter Willowdown

Beyond the Wire

Beyond the wire
little children laugh and play,
waiting to beg pennies
from tourists making visas,
fighting in the dirt
over coppers tossed their way;
their elder sister's smiles
are slightly more strained
- at seven and eight their shoulders
are already burdened
with heavy responsibilities.

Behind the prison walls
nine yoar old Sanselkey
is beaten and brutalised every night.
His crime? he is an orphan
without a penny to his name,
destined to spend the rest of his days
behind bars for the sin of being
unwanted and unloved...

Beneath the notice of politicians
the dispossessed and the forsaken
die like flies beyond the attention
of multi-national conglomerates
and journalists; for five minutes,
if they are lucky, they might make the news
but News these days is a fast-moving business
- they really need to rethink
and redefine their image:
people are bored with famines and wars,
they want something more.

Behind the eyes
the spectres of summer flowers
that have perished and died
dance in the eternal sunlight,
beyond the ambit of death and pain,
rejoicing in the softly falling rain.

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