This poem was previously published on my column on Feminine Collective.
Darkness has fallen. The winds, they blow strange.
The devils we know have all changed their names.
They have coloured their faces, these heathens without shame,
all pointing corrupt fingers, all deflecting the blame.
They kill our time breathing upon life’s precious things,
taking pleasure from bullets tearing butterfly wings.
One for the kid just trying to get home,
clutching rainbows of death and his girl on the phone.
A few for the women, the mothers not to be,
slaughtered for their choices in the land of the free.
Five for the heroes who laid down their lives
when a blue line was crossed in Dallas that night.
Another forty-nine blazed through the night skies,
carrying the pulse of one love on terrified cries.
In San Bernardino there was holiday cheer,
and then fourteen funerals to ring in the New Year.
In the back of a car on the side of a road,
a little girl counts as a gun unloads.
Into her daddy the bullets are sprayed,
white ones and blue ones and both are afraid.
Her mama is crying and this is their fight,
cars without tail lights and bodies without white.
Gone are the days when we put kids to bed,
with nary a worry but a kiss on the head.
We used to teach fools to be wary of strangers,
but now we tell children to keep one in the chamber.
I see you humanity, crawling out from under the rubble, holding your neighbour’s hand, lifting up the closest stranger and offering a shoulder for solace.
I see you humanity, in all of your glory though you may be beaten and tired, scared and feeling defeated; I see you rise again; refusing to let the enemy win.
Across this vast world that we share, horrors and atrocities are carried out systematically, coordinated with calculated terror; devised to separate and conquer us all, and sadly, the enemy is winning, not with their destruction and mutilation, their bombs and their grenades, for we fight those. We grieve our loved ones, and we honour our victims of senseless violence.
How do they beat us? They beat us by outwitting us. The beat us by turning our own on each other, “We do not negotiate with terrorists.” Instead our society has deemed it safe and necessary to paint a single faith with one brush, and I am disgusted.
In an age of enlightenment, ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse. You scream, “How dare you let these refugees into our Country!” but what if we were bombed, thrown from our homes? Your children raped and tortured before your very eyes, and taken away to be trafficked to a horrific group where their only purpose was to violate and destroy? Baby legs splayed open for every beast to take his turn at your precious baby? Mutilate and desecrate her very soul as her tiny body shuddered in pain, screaming for her Daddy to save her as you were helpless to take her suffering away? What would you do? You would run for freedom.
Wouldn’t you wish a Country that was Free would open its borders for you and your little child, offering solace, comfort and hope? A Free Country where a new beginning for her to start fresh was a real possibility? She could leave the pain and suffering of a war she had never asked to be born into in hopes that she could live a full and healthy life, and begin a chain of love and hope and freedom.
I ask you, how in good faith can you condemn a child who has never had the chance to choose her life? You, my friend, have been privileged to be born in a Free Country, it was nothing but luck that this happened to be where you were born, and it would do you good to remember your blessings the next time you paint all faiths under one brush.
After all of the atrocities, I see you humanity. I see you in the love that is being posted. I see you in the refusal to adhere to the racist bigoted comments that are vomited all over social media. I see you humanity and I have hope. I see you in the faces of my children who choose love because love is louder and love always wins.
I see you humanity, in the way society will not back down to extremists or bigots or racists and I celebrate you.
The bombs and screams and destruction were deafening, but the collective voice of, “you will not bring us to our knees!” is that much louder. Love always wins; it may just take a little while longer.
I see you humanity, and I will never give up on you. You give me strength and courage and the will to keep on going when I feel my faith is gone. You are a beautiful world, and I am proud to be part of you. I am proud to raise my children in such a place where people love one another and accept one another, and those who do not, do not deserve our time, only our love and our light, and our hope that one day they will see the light.
Hate is not born, it is learned. Whether you go into a building with a grenade and destroy lives, or choose to paint a faith based on false beliefs, you are one in the same, maybe not quite on the same level, but you are teaching hate. Try to open your open mind. Love wont kill you, it will only make you grow. The only way to change the world is by one random act of kindness at a time.
Neither faith nor religion is the enemy; an extremist group is, as is your hate and ignorance. You are teaching this to your children, are you any better? Because you haven’t murdered someone, you are still teaching others to hate, ask yourself, is it helping or hurting?