Weekly Poem -In the Grip of

It is very hot for Ireland this week. Which accounts for my later posting of the weekly poem . While our temperatures are in the 25-27C range, (which sounds laughably cool to many people) with the humidity in the 80 percentile it is not comfortable for folks used to summers where a few days at 21C is a cause for rejoicing and the populus turning lobster pink as we boil in the unusually relentless sunshine.

Consequently, I am rising early and doing activities that are…well, active before noontime. Air conditioning is unheard of in Ireland except in public buildings. The supermarket was cool, but my ice cream cone (that I ate outside where I could take off my mask) was a bit melty by the time I finished it. The lane’s tarmac weeps once we go over 25C. So I am walking our little dog between 7am and 8am each morning to preserve his wee paw pads. Even by 8am the exertion makes me sweat. There is a race to water, weed and harvest in the garden before I swoon from the sun. Also, to do any cooking since putting on the oven or using the gas stove only adds to the heat. So, I only settled down (wearing my bou-bou from Mogodishu, a gift from a South African friend) to write the weekly poem well after lunchtime. It is, in part, inspired by a stray fact gleaned from the Long Read in today’s Guardian by Zarlasht Halaimzai. I commend it to you.

In the Grip of a Death Cult, we

bomb the Kabul maternity home
making it a grave for so many newborns;
exhume the septic system of Tuam’s
Mother & Baby Home. 
Count out the tiny remains-
the hundreds and hundreds not unlike
those found out the back of the Kamloops Institute 
(except they were not white)
buried toe to toe. Who knows

who actually loves children?
We would like to think the future.
Certainly not the past. Or even  the now.
We prefer to love them in utero
where so many hearts bleed over
embryonic potential, adoringly viewing
the ET finger waving home from behind
the scan’s screen. Who knows why

we treat them so differently once they
cross the line into actuality, handing them
a fate where they starve, are bombed out,
hounded, tortured, caged for the audacity
of birth that so many swear is their greater good.

Over and over we lay this Isaac on that altar 
to a god hungry for blood, 
one who does not stay Abraham’s hand. 
Nor do we question said authority
demanding that the little children shall suffer
even as we sentimentally mourn the many lost
in their potentiality. 
Even in the face of their brutal actual 
brief lives – short of breath, snuggle, succour and love.

Copyright © Bee Smith 2021. All rights reserved.

Featured image Photo by Garidy Sanders on Unsplash

Cognitive Dissonance

I am finding it hard to find the words this morning. I didn’t sleep well. As a young woman I really wanted to have children. Then I scaled back my ambition to just one child. Valiant, even heroic, lengths were taken for that to come to be. It didn’t happen. That deeply grieved me. But in my sixties I feel a kind of sad relief that I leave no progeny to face the cruelty and inhumanity in this world. Little would I have thought that thirty years on I would feel that emotion. My potential descendents have been spared. But I feel for those who remain. I love children. Even when they grow up. Even when ones I babysat as a weeks’ old infant and walked the floor for hours while they cried cannot spare compassion for incarcerated children fleeing God knows what. The heart breaks some though. We have so lost our way.

Cognitive Dissonance

outside the sun shines
birds continue their singing

inside I could weep

a child unborn

is valued more than the child

sat on your doorstep

we are accursed

as depraved a creation

as all our nightmares

I want to hex those

admitting no harm is done

to little children

left huddled in a nightmare

What does that say about me?
Copyright 2019 Bee Smith. all right reserved.

Prayer For Detained Children

The story continues. The children in detention at Clint are being moved to tents. In the heat of a Texan summer. If they are not frozen into hypothermia by dialed up air-con, it’s fry them under the sky. Sleep deprivation, no medical attention. As one talking head said, “It was deemed that sleep deprivation was inhumane at Guantanamo for adults, but it’s okay for innocent little kids?” 


Prayer for Detained Children

How can your heart not break 

in half?

Now is the time when it needs to

be whole.

Let go of its armouring plaque.

Offer it, even with its wounds and scars.

It has no fatal lack.

It beats with the heat of sacred flame.

Let that inform your next act.

Oh, Sacred Heart!

Though blemished, unbound.

We hold your sanctuary space.

With all the love that can be found.

Deliver them to a safe place.

Let no one remain displaced.

Deliver into cherishing arms,

to familiar faces,

away from all harm.

Copyright 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

I found this image on Facebook posted by Dave Loudon Creativity. I can only suppose that with its public posting it is free to share.