Not My Child

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Not my child
Laying limp in the sand
Face down in the sea

Not my child
Huddled unbreathing
In a cargo container

Not my child
Stranded alone
Dead on a beach

Not my child
The curl of his fingers
The curve of his cheek

Not my child
Hair soft as thistledown
On the nape of his neck

Author’s Notes
1. I wrote ‘Not My Child’ in response to the growing number of children dying in Europe as they and their families try to reach safety as they flee from violence in their home countries.

2. The poem won second place in the Universal Human Rights Student Network’s human rights poetry contest. The theme of the contest was ‘Refugees and the message to Europe’. The short-listed poems can be found here.

Copyright © 2015 Lindsay Oliver

Lines written in appreciation of Lord David Anthony Freud, Baron of Eastry

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Ma breeks are bauchled.
Ma sheen are shauchled.
Ah've no food ava in ma hoose ti eat.

Ma jumper's aa jimpit.
Ma skirt's aa skimpit.
Wi'oot ony foodbanks fit wid Ah eat?

Ah hivnae ony milk.
Ah hivnae ony silk.
Ah'll hiv till sell masel for a few bob a week.

No like yon manny.
He's gye canny,
aa riggit oot in his futtret skin collar.

It's a fair scunner.
He gets three hunner
a day, doupin doon on his bumbelerie.

Wi his muckle mansion,
an his gowd-plaitit pinsion,
he's weel-foggit in his reed wul rocklie.

He's gypit gabbit.
He's steekit heidit.
He nochtifeed me as a onwirthy sloonge.

Ah'll jist hiv till thole it,
fir aa that they stole it;
wir health, an wir wealth, an wir human rights.

Fir fit can Ah dee,
a wee wifie sic as me,
ti tak on the pooers oh they pairliminters?

But Ah cannae thole it.
They shouldnae hiv stole it,
aa fir ti rook us fir a yankee dollar.

Fa amang ye is wi me?
Fa amang ye will gi me
the feushon an the fettle ti hud them til accoont?

Wi thir trade negotiations,
geing global corporations
the richt ti reive awa' wir democratic rights.

An sue us een an aa,
jist fir mackin wir ane law
til ban frackin, pit up wages, or onything we like.

Author’s Notes
1. ‘Lines to Lord Freud’ appears in Lallans 87, the journal o the Scots airts an letters Yuil 2015 edition.

2. I wrote this poem in response to Lord Freud’s remarks that certain people with disabilities are worth less than the minimum wage.

3. An English translation can be found here.

Copyright © 2015 Lindsay Oliver