06 September 2015


A woman holds a placard reading “Welcome refugees” during a demonstration in support of asylum seekers in the French capital city of Paris on September 5, 2015. ©AFP
Demonstration in support of asylum seekers
in Paris on September 5, 2015. ©AFP

Build strong bridges and 
backs to carry more
world-weary weight with 
age (both earth’s and ours).

Tell border-crossing 
tales.  Communicate
in movement.  Show, don’t 
tell, that all can hear.

Are you more hungry, 
curious or scared?
Exchanging hopes in 
silent boats and trains.

With many rivers 
to cross before you
find welcome signs in 
lonely hands and eyes.

If you ever stumble 
across the kind
and curious, surprised 
by their own love.

Orphans have waited 
long and home-lessly,
their parents gone and 
dream time aborted.

But you must hold your 
hope like wooden rafts
as if there were no 
other food and drink.

And you must find our 
open door and stores,
we wee last remnants 
of humanity.

Read more poetry at Poets United Poetry Pantry #268

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast


Julian said...

Love being reminded, again, of MLK's statement that "when men and women straighten their backs up they are going somewhere because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent"

Last couple days, I have been doing head stand yoga poses. Like the way it frees me from tension in my spine and helps me sit/stand straight up

Loredana Donovan said...

I love the opening lines of building strong bridges and backs ~ such an inspiring message to lift the burdens of humanity and create unity.

X said...

Absolutely beautiful verse Susan. I love the sharing tales of border crossings as it is packed with meaning . This is a gentle call to action. To live a life intentionally.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

in movement. Show, don’t
tell, that all can hear.

We should strive to accomplish all that we strongly believe in.. and make it known so that others shall come to join.
Beautifully penned :D

Lots of love,

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is so beautifully expressed. I especially love holding our hope like wooden rafts. It is good to see people being galvanized into action. On the news they said 50% of Syria's population has been displaced. Fifty percent. War creates only suffering and gains nothing.

Aditi said...

Beautifully penned, each and every line! Praying for Syria!

Sumana Roy said...

love worded into a beautiful poem..."But you must hold your / hope like wooden rafts" love this....

Kerry O'Connor said...

The world is changing faster than we can process the change. Refugees from Asia and Africa will change the face of Europe forever - yet government seems totally unprepared. We, the spectators, can only watch the human tragedy unfolding.

Mary said...

Yes, I do hope they keep hope; and I hope that their hope is rewarded. We do need to open our doors and our stores to them. All of us must do something to help.

brudberg said...

So very timely .. I feel there is a force of change blowing right now.. maybe the zealous few can go back into hiding and let compassion rule again. Imagine what one picture can change... I wonder what it will look like in years to come.

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

Oh the beauty through the sadness in your words touched me deeply. Where I live we are a major stop for refugees from around the world. Many are brought to central NY state to begin again....and the school district I worked in and community had services for these brave people who were now uprooted in a strange place so hopeful. I wish we did not have to have so many people displaced by war.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

To stay at once positive and realistic in the face of all this, and write a beautiful poem into the bargain - no mean feat!

Matthew Henningsen said...

I absolutely love that line about exchanging hopes in silent boats and trains. Truly poetic!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

How fragile are those rafts...

At the Dead Man’s House

Maude Lynn said...

This really touched me, Susan. I love the hope it offers.

Wendy Bourke said...

A timely and heartfelt piece - your words evocative, poignant and - in a torrent of despair and hopelessness - a note of hope and faith that the world will take action.

Jae Rose said...

Show don't tell is a philosophy that certainly should be applied to life as well as writing...i hope we all have the humanity to treat our fellow humans as we would like to be treated...an insightful and thoughtful poem - thank you also for your wonderful comment

Nicholas said...

ah...a poem for the refugees. thanks Susan for your awareness of the current events. :)

Gen Giggles said...

An important poem. Lets hope it makes a difference.

Locomente said...