Sunday, June 27, 2021

Born on Concrete

 I was not born on soil; I was born on concrete.

Sterilised, silenced, hooked

To too many machines, and nobody heard my screaming.

Nobody heard at all.


A detached generation:

Separate from soil, from life, from another,

Not knowing our own selves in the frantic hunger

To fill up the gaping hole,

To release the boredom

Of our near non-being. Here, even the sting

Of salt on the lips

Is a sense of coming home.


In that concrete world

Trees had no names, and leaves were only for sweeping;

Gardens were pruned so tight that you never saw flowers.

Bees hummed in vain, sweetness effectively banished,

Children were seen and not heard, and scarcely for seeing –

Turned in on ourselves, ‘incurvatus in se’,

Lost and alone, alone, in the jungle of emptiness.


Tears turn to pebbles

In that rigid place, straitjacketing the soul.

Concrete so soon becomes a prison cell,

And covers and hides the living, springing soil.

A grim society

Of automata tramples the open earth,

Treading it down so concrete can be poured.

Can even sacred tears bring life from this?


Teach me to weep the tears that dissolve stone:

To weep for others,

For the pain of all things broken,

For wingless birds and homeless children,

For the fist in the night and the words that shred,

For forests turned to deserts,

And hearts turned to stone.


Let me see a larger world,

The bars removed,

The walls come tumbling down.

Give me courage

To walk across the rubble and embrace

All that my parents feared.

To learn that wings

Are there, but only unfurl

When you’re willing to actually fly;

And that the Love that lifts us all

Can hold us in entirety,

Carrying all that is.