Sunday, September 6, 2015


image of Aylan Kurdi
by Naser Jafari on Twitter

Hope filled the boat that did not float
(their chance of safety so remote)
It spilled those fleeing bombs and pain
into the sea and back again

No soft and pillowed childhood bed
cradled his small and downy head
only the shore, where he lay dead
his lifetime short and briefly shed

No teddy bear, no gentle touch
his life so brief, he suffered much
When his small image came to light
he woke  us, finally, to his plight
by entering his eternal night

With his father's tears he is laid to rest
in a world full of the dispossessed
small wayfarer  rode the silver foam
had to leave this life to find a home

For those who follow, make the beds
with soft cloth for their downy heads
Let us set the table, draw them in
create a world that peace can win

Like everyone, the photo of that small three year old on the shore seared itself into my consciousness. I thought of Sebastian - any of our  children - lying there. The image seems to have finally woken the world to the plight of the Syrian refugees. More than half of the population is in urgent need of humanitarian relief, and more than fifty percent are children.

How, as a species, can humans possibly think that war "wins" anyone anything but suffering?


  1. This is such a poignant piece.. brought tears into my eyes. I like the message of the closing lines.. may there be peace in this world.

    Lots of love,

  2. Something has to be done to stop Isis. They are killing so many. The world has to open its arms and hearts to those who are fleeing. I think they are, but I hope it is soon enough....

  3. I think the picture of little Alan can be that eye-opener that make the world wake up. We have a name a history to make the tragedy understandable... I have never witnessed such an immediate change in opinion..

  4. Both poem and comment are moving! The poem, rhymed and metered like a children's nursery rhyme, is that much more effective when imagining children singing of the death. Of course, the playground game "Ashes Ashes, We all fall down" is another instance of--should we call it irony?

  5. It was a terribly sad picture to see, and we can hope. you may remember Elian Gonzalez, the cuban immigrant that was part of the 2000 controversy here in the US. Imagining our own children in that situation is devastating. We all are responsible for the world's children though.

  6. Your image made me cry again for this innocent child...50% are can we not see the senselessness of war....I pray everyday for peace everywhere and especially for the children. An incredible piece Sherry.

  7. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" This quote from mark 8.36 is the answer for our values are so skewed and our quest for riches makes us blind. We really must stop voting in those that care only for riches and themselves.

  8. Create a world that peace can win. Yes, what a wonderful message, Sherry. Your poem is so effective to show the plight of innocent children of war. May children be safe and fall asleep peacefully with their teddy bears and soft blankets ~ lovely imagery.

  9. Thank you for this tribute to a hapless and helpless child. Every one of these refugees has a heartbreaking story to tell.

    At the Dead Man’s House

  10. This is so beautiful, Sherry. Heartbreaking.

  11. There have been thousands of Syrian children in UN camps in Jordan etc for a long time now.. Europe is just waking up to the brutal reality of that war.

  12. I love the way you've brought home the sheer magnitude of the refugee crisis, and most of the EU's callous response to refugees. Let's hope Europe becomes kinder and opens its doors to many more people.

  13. Achingly poignant. Such a sad, sad story. You rendered this heartbreaking human tragedy beautifully, Sherry. Your choice of rhyme is inspired. It brought to mind: Now I lay me down to sleep. The world can be such a cruel place for the young and the vulnerable.

  14. Thank you, Sherry...for saying it out loud. We learn much too slowly,


  15. heartbreaking Sherry...politicians are a different species, not humans...

  16. A beautiful poem Sherry - his tiny body was indeed a haunting image...and to add insult to injury his father was offered asylum after he lost everyone he was fighting is sobering to think of the desperation people must puts 'our' own problems into perspective

  17. A very fine reflection, Sherry. That picture is one of those images that encapsulate a place and time forever. Good job of memorializing it here.
    Steve K.

  18. You captured the pain - the tragedy - very clearly. Strong write.

  19. When I hear of thousands it is hard to get my head around, but one lonely lost boy got my attention, as well as that of the world...a wonderful poem about loss. A tragic event of our time. Who can say war is worth it? Thank you Mr. Bush.

  20. Wish you didn't post this Sherry

  21. this is so full of broken dreams of an unrealized lifetime. yet it is a harsh reality of what our modern world has become.

    love the truth in your words, sherry.

  22. There is so much consolation in the the image and in your poem, luv the fact that you wrote in a rhyming scheme also

    much love...

  23. So sad of what happened to the family Sherry ~ War is driving and dividing us to the edge of our sorrows ~

  24. bravo! good write Sherry! the image is a triumphant one. and your words just touched my heart. God bless you my friend.

  25. This is so painful. You have perfectly expressed the agony of the child's father.
    A great poem!

  26. Great piece; great commentary. Sorry for my late responses, I have been very slow lateley... sometime I can't read evryone in time. The Spirit is willing but the flesh... :-)


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