Holocaust Memorial Day 27th January by Angela E Brooks

Somehow it’s got a special day to remind people to remember, as if the actual fact is not enough, and the faces of eternal suffering do not describe the pain, the sorrow the longing for it to have never happened, but the knowledge that it did and could again.
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Now we sigh and shrug our shoulders as the Jewry is out, all of us aware of the dangers we are facing. Hatred and racism, fear of the unknown, lead the mindless to unspeakable acts of violence on the innocent, old and young. We may say, and mean it, “It must never happen again” but close our eyes and minds to the world outside our bubble.
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So we have a special day, Holocaust Memorial Day, which reminds us not to forget the evil which can be released if we are not vigilant, then tomorrow we can close our doors, and close our ears to the cries of the Jewry as another of their number succumbs to his own private Holocaust, under the boots of the Far Right, out there, in the street, in this England.
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Aleppo by Angela E Brooks

Is it still Aleppo now that it’s flattened into anonymous rubble?

How much more destruction can it take before it is seen to be destroyed?

Horror upon horror dulls the senses until the little children

Covered in grey dust, fighting to breathe become commonplace

To our eternal shame.

This war, the warlords say, will go on – maybe ten years more.

For what? This whole frightening idiocy must be stopped

Before the population comprises grey dusted people,

Limbless, sightless, immobile, buried under giant piles of man-made debris.

What use is Politics when this is the result?

Regimes fight Regimes for control while all around

Their people are dying. Listen to the terrible wailing of the bereaved

Trying to make sense of the indefensible.

And the bombing goes on, and the gassings go on, and the dying goes on

And the lost youth with nothing left to live for

With deadened senses don their home-made suicide vests

And hope for happiness in another world.

Omran Dagneesh – Remember His Name by Angela E Brooks

The boy, aged five years, his eyes staring unseeing

At horrors unknown

His hands stained with the blood of his bleeding scalp

Sits as still as death

While the chaos rages around him

And we watch and weep as the bombs fly and buildings collapse

In another place, another time

And the little boy sits. As still as death.

He stares resigned at the only life he has ever known

While the West discovers another icon

Until we turn the page, change the channel,

Open another bottle of wine –

And the boy, aged five years,

Wipes his bloodied hands on his orange chair

In the back of the ambulance and sits

As still as death, staring at his future,

A survivor, one of the lucky ones.

The Journey by Angela E Brooks

The man said no worry, we’d be okay,

I wanted to know how much we’d pay

He said five thousand, you pay today.

 

We broke the bank, found all we had

Said goodbye to the cat, the children were sad

I told them, when we got there they would be glad.

 

We paid the money and climbed into the boat

We had all our possessions and I’d left a note

For the landlord to find when we were afloat

 

I said Allah would help us, my husband would work

We had nothing to fear, we would not be back

Our spirits were high as we left our shack.

 

It all went so smoothly, the sea was like glass

But somewhere in the middle this came to pass

The wind and the rain turned the seas to wet death.

 

The night grew so black, the wind chased the stars

And the gusting and howling went on for hours

Our children were held tight in the cage of our arms.

 

There was weeping of women amid the cries of the men

The boat rolled to one side then rolled back again

We were sitting in vomit, ignoring our pain

 

As we crashed and we fell in that sodden Hell

Then my children, my babies, slipped out of my hold

And over the side into that ocean, so cold

 

And the screams of my darlings as “Mama!” they cried

Split the night, split my heart as my spirit died

My pleadings to Allah to save us, denied.

 

As the storming winds stopped, the rain faded away

That Wintry sun shone on a scene of dismay

On the waves of the ocean that  terrible day.

 

My babies, all five, they were hidden from me

Though I cried and I screamed out to Allah “Oh Please

Bring my babies back, bring them back to me”.

 

Now I’ve reached the safety of these foreign shores

But I’m dead to this world and want nothing more

Than to go back to the ocean and hear the winds roar.

 

And I’ll enter the sea, and I’ll walk till I’m gone

For the lives of my children so cruelly torn

From my arms, for I wish I had never been born.

Car Wash Slavery by Angela E Brooks

Don’t take your car to the carwash

It’s the new slave trade

And the lads who work in the carwash

Are their master’s slaves.

They work for a pittance, if they are lucky,

Sleep like dogs in whatever space they can find

While our ignorance of the life they lead

And the life they have left behind

Makes us as bad as the masters of old

Buying men the slave traders sold.

There is nothing so bad as to wash the cars

Of the people who drive while so blind

To the sufferings around them everywhere

As far as the eye can see

We step out from our comfortable homes to drive

To the Malls, to the shopping parades

Complaining of exhaustion while sipping tea

Not knowing or caring how it was made.

While the slaves in our towns are unseen, unknown

Carrying their sorrows in silence,

Writing unsent letters home “I am fine, I’ve a job,

Soon I’ll send money home, I’m so glad

I met a man from the motor trade.”

Oh, Mother, one hundred years by Angela E Brooks

Ireland’s history, written in blood,

Proclaims its children an eager sacrifice

Oh Mother, dry your tears

 

Too many years of sacrifice

Many years of bloody cries

Oh Mother, close your eyes

 

To the screams of Ireland’s children

Born to die, or live exiled

Oh Mother, close your ears

 

In twenty sixteen, don’t turn back to those years

Have hope in your heart, not fear

Oh Mother, no more tears.

Familiar Explosions Shake the City by Angela E Brooks

The now familiar explosions shake the city and

The pall of smoke rises this time over Brussels

The panicking crowds run blindly through

The blood soaked carnage hoping to be saved,

While the evil hate-filled clerics and their succubi

Sing praises to Allah, to the painful music of children’s cries.

The teddy bear mountain grows before the blood has dried

The candles are lit to bring comfort to the bereaved and the lost

Chalked messages of defiance appear again in yet another city’s streets

And social media once again erupts in a show of impotent solidarity.

While the futility of it all would make the heavens weep.

Loop by Angela E Brooks

It’s a loop in my head, I can’t get rid of it

Round and round it goes on an infernal merry-go-round

The migrant crisis, look how they suffer

Don’t turn away now the camera doesn’t lie.

But wait. Now the migrants are not migrants.

They are predators, preying on our generosity, our soft hearts.

Their children, abandoned, orphaned, alone, are not children.

They are ‘men of fighting age’ who should go back to war

And defend their country.

They’ll rape our daughters, rob us blind and

Treat with disrespect our elderly.

I read, and read, and read the news for changes.

Still they come. Crossing the seas in unsafe boats,

Children carried in arms, wrapped in silver, like presents.

The children are so appealing, the adults less so.

So they send the children first, every child a Trojan horse

Hiding many behind their pathetic childish frames.

It’s a deadly game with no winners.

Each terrible dawn breaking on another terrible day

And we hope and pray but still it goes on and

The loop in my head goes round and round and round.

On Sangatte by Angela E Brooks

This green and pleasant land of riches

Draws the poorest to its shores

Who then discover the greatest lie,

There’s no welcome and the gates

Of this nirvana are closed, the promises

Of last years politics turned to dust.

So, disaffected and unwanted they huddle

These shabby masses, claiming our green spaces,

Ungrateful for the little they are given, wanting more.

Their ways are not our Western ways.

We turn our heads and close our eyes

Until the simmering rages spill over

And who is right and who is wrong becomes

Impossible to know.

Once more we push back, against the tides

Calling for our soldiers, armed to the teeth, to

Fight men armed with sticks and stones, until

Driven back, repulsed, repelled, they sail the seas,

Walk the roads, traverse the mountains – they are unstoppable,

This ragged mass of human flotsam, searching for the humanity

We appear to have lost.

Till We Fall by Angela E Brooks

We are walking walking walking

Along the road to nowhere

And we never seem to reach a spot

Where people care

So we’ll go on walking walking walking

Till we fall.

We’ve left the land that spawned us

Left behind the war and pain

We’ve reached the land that spurns us

So we turn, and walk again

We’ll go on walking walking walking

Till we fall.

Through the dark and lonely night times

Through the dire and dreadful days

When the children and the old folk

Drop and fall

We will chant our ancient hymnal

In a language of our own

As the stones and other missiles

break our bones

We’ll go on walking walking walking

Till we fall

We are people of the earth

Brothers, sisters of the race

We didn’t choose this lifestyle

Nor would you

We need to stop the endless searching

Make our homes and settle down

And we plead with you our brothers

Make a space

Or we go on walking walking walking

Till we fall.