Wind and waves
We say the waves are calm now,
their voices stilled, the echoing voices
from wooden holds,
but restless still,
waves take their toll of human flesh—
slavers have a multitude of faces.
Listen to the wind that blows
into ears deaf to the cries
of other people’s children,
the wind that stirs the veils,
the shadows in the corner,
and brings the sound of chinking coins,
the chinking coins still changing hands,
and the child behind the veil sold,
flesh, hers too.
The waves’ lament lingers
and the wind’s, the unheard voices,
There’s something visceral about
seeing a human in chains;
hunger in their belly,
desolation in their eyes;
watching as coins are passed
from hand to hand
and their ownership from one
That smashes through
the basic revulsion that the
concept of slavery
should engender within.
Where any shred of
human decency would
demand a call to arms
to banish it forever.
To raise the sharpest axe
and bring it crashing
onto and through the manacles
and scream “Enough!”
No-one should stand by and watch
as a human being
is sold down the River.
Life Should Be Meaningless
A full life is false and worthless.
is good for you. All folk
Should be chained,
Manacled to a mortgage,
To work, to an employer
a partner. Freedom denies
your human rights. Slavery
Teaches you the meaning of life.
Demands you act properly
Constrains you to common sense,
sets out a wild world of imagination
creativity and invention. Freedom
is too wishy washy. Lock
and load your chains. Don’t let
loose and free your mind. Freedom
Is heavy, restricts, denies movement
of blood, bone and brain.
Become a slave and see our world
with new eyes, fresh perspectives.
-Paul Brookes (from my “A World Where 2”, as yet unpublished)
Bios and Links
was brought up in the West Riding but lives and works in southwest France. Her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, the Ekphrastic Review, Black Bough Poetry, ink sweat and tears, Gleam, Nightingale & Sparrow, Green Ink and Brilliant Flash Fiction. She blogs at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ Her poetry chapbooks, thicker than water and birds and other feathers were published in October and November 2020
is a writer from Chesterfield, Derbyshire. His pamphlet, ‘Heritage’, was published in 2019 by Glass Head Press.
One thought on “Mark #internationaldayfortheremembranceoftheslavetradeanditsabolition. Please join Tim Fellows and I to mark this day with your own work. I will feature your published/unpublished poetry/short prose/artworks about slavery. Please include a short third person bio.”
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