The inspiration and meaning behind the Poem We all Stand together
The crisis in Syria and indeed elsewhere has become an inescapable fact. One very striking image of a child, Aylan, swept ashore became the catalyst for change. I must admit that at first it just didn’t feel real; it was too far from my everyday life to really hit me. As I sat in my home, it was hard to accept that this was reality for others, hard to accept that the little boy was dead as are so many others. It took a few moments and reading a few articles for all the horror to sink in. That people were so desperate as to get aboard a rickety ship only to have their child swept into the water. They risk everything for the chance of a life, a chance at being free.
Signs of desperation – an image of an overcrowded Dingy filled with Syrian and Afghan refugees.
The above is an image of an overcrowded dingy being pulled from the Turkish coasts to the Greek island of Lesbos, published in July 2015. The photograph shows clearly just how many try to travel on one boat; this to me shows it is a last attempt to break away from the life they have known, a very desperate act.
As I said, the harsh reality didn’t immediately hit me with the image of Aylan; rather, it came upon me gradually as I read articles on WordPress. I think the moment I truly felt the impact of the boy was when I came across the image of an old wooden railing, each piece seeming to support another. This is what I feel we are called to do, to help other humans who haven’t had the fortune to be born in a wealthy country, to help those who flee what we can’t even imagine.
Are we doing enough to help those in need? Is it only Syrian refugees that are in need of our compassion?
The injustice of only helping those from one place was really shown by a witty cartoon where the captain of a large vessel, instead of immediately helping those on a small dingy, shouted out ‘Where are you from?’ The response displays the very idea of only helping some to be a truly inhuman act – ‘Earth’, was the response.
So I say if they are truly running for their lives, they are refugees and we have a duty as other human beings to help them. They don’t wish an easy life of no work, but simply wish to live out their lives.
I feel angered that David Cameron would have us only help but a few from just one place. He is trying hard to do as little as possible, and in doing so making our country sound to be filled with hard-hearted fools; but I have a heart for those in need and will do my bit.
I have already signed petitions but I felt I wanted to do more and so with a heavy heart I wrote this poem. Sometimes I feel that it is rare for us to all stand together; we spend so much time looking at differences and excusing our inaction, our failure to help those in need. If you feel moved by this crisis, then I hope you allow those feelings to move you to action. It doesn’t have to be a world-changing decision; it can be some small act, signing a petition, raising awareness on social media or writing something on WordPress. It’s when the small acts come together that great changes can be made. We All Stand Together is a poem of hope; that we might set aside differences and stand up for justice.
Warning, this was written when in a very low place so for any with depression this may become a trigger. (I do not want to ruin anyone’s day so thought a warning might be better 🙂 ) and for those who may get concerned I have climbed up a bit from down there 🙂 I find writing poems helps express how i feel even to myself. I must say I was shocked to read this back and realise just how low i get.
Is keeping from you just how low I feel, lying?
Should I open up fully or is that just offloading?
I know you want to be there for me, but how much can you deal with?
When you have you own worries. How much can you give?
I try to tell you just what’s needed. Not dwell on the pain
Keep things to basics avoid opening a vein
I don’t want the feelings to bleed out of me
Feelings that would worry, as you’d know I’m not free
Free to make choices of what I will and won’t do
No. I am a prisoner till the illness is through
Is hiding all of this really such a bad thing?
Where does sharing end and offloading begin?
If I can’t face myself, due to guilt and the hate,
Then does It mean I should share or try and change my fate?