TENTS DANCING – a poem

tents dancing 

Hot, dry wind

over parched desert land,

swirling up sand,

stinging eyes and partly exposed faces,

mainly of women and children

cueing for their daily rations.

A sea of tents,

as far as the eye can see.

Makeshift homes of refugees;

once large families

with a desire to prosper

and to give a future to their offspring.

To offer shelter

to their aging parents.

To enjoy status

in their communities.

War tore them asunder;

killing, raping, maiming

indiscriminately.

Presently,

reduced to mere beggars.

A perceived burden.

A political football.

Stateless.

Homeless.

Their dignity left behind.

After the numbness of grief,

what is left

but blame?

Easy targets

for ideologies of hatred.

Usually,

towards ‘meddlers from the West’.

They came with guns and tanks

and a self-righteous demeanour.

They are usually the ones

now offering charity,

expecting gratitude.

Why not bite the hand

that once held a gun?

When hatred prevails

the truth becomes irrelevant.

Whose truth anyway?

The war may have been left behind

but is now raging

in wounded human hearts.

As quick as it arose,

the wind has died down.

The relentless heat

causes tents to dance

on waves of sand.

Pia Horan, 29 September 2013

 

 

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