Two years ago, in September 2013, I wrote a piece titled "A Strong and Stiffly Worded Letter Should Do The Trick" - it was a rant-poem-letter written as a strong reaction to images of dead children in bombed schools. Here is the first draft of the 2015 version, written as a reaction to images of their brothers and sisters now washed up on European beaches.
A Stronger Stiffly Worded Letter
Two years later: 2015
Dear war makers and war takers
Twitchy button pushers and mushroom cloud worshippers
Bomb botherers and gun polishers
Chemical weapon wielders and coup-cooers
Battle cry criers and army gatherers
Bullet loaders and knife sharpeners
Death collators, chief whips and spins and…
Dear Queen Elizabeth and family Windsor
Dear kings and dear lords and dear right honourables
To all the Dear Mr Presidents and Dear Mr Prime ministers –
Thank you for taking some time to read my letter,
I’m writing to make a small request
Please could you all take some fucking responsibility?
I find I am forced to write to you yet again.
In 2013 we saw bombed school children
Their bloody and ashy faces trapped under rubble,
I don’t know if you remember them? I do
I never forgot them or that you sanctioned those bombings
I now believe some of these refugees are their survivors
That these are the class mates, the brothers and sisters
The families and neighbours that suffered those conflicts
Those schools and hospitals that you bombed
So please send some ships and save some lives
Shush with your “benefit scroungers” talk
Stop with your daily hate button pushy fingers
Quit being so pass-the-buck happy
I don’t care who started this trouble now.
You are all culpable
These people flee as a direct result of your wars and your bombs,
Your greed and your alliance with dictators.
You’re all as bad as each other
I want to send you to your rooms
To do your homework -
You all need to read the history books
And refresh your geography.
From space there are no walls or borders
Just land and sea and the have and the have nots
The people who can do and the people who can do nothing.
And Cameron, you embarrass us
You are conspicuous in your inactivity
We all have a duty to save human life at any cost
So, here’s the thing:
If you could stop making refugees. And if you could all just admit you contributed to making these people become refugees in the first place. And if you could take full responsibility that would be great. And if you could stop pretending you haven’t any money for any refugees. And if you could stop using the term illegal immigrant that would be great. And you, if you could stop pretending you haven’t made any refugees and if you could concentrate on saving some lives that would be brilliant. Hang on. Let me simplify things, if you could stop washing your hands of any blame and if you could stop making rules about the deserving and the undeserving, and stop pretending you didn’t make them refugees in the first place and if you could stop the murder of innocent people in transit and aid the plight of migrating people fleeing the wars that you all contributed to, the bombs that you sanctioned, that would be brilliant. One more time, let me put it another way, if you could just admit you are part of the reason these people became refugees and stop leaving them to die or be saved by the other side, by another European country, when you keep saying we are EU and all united on the same side, when it suits you, that would be great. And if you all could just stop spending money on war and the production of bombs, and while you are at it, if you could also stop the drilling in the fucking arctic, as this will create floods and food wars and an increase in refugees and emergency human migration in the first fucking place…that would be great.
Now go and do something good and ordinary with your time
Donate to the crisis. Save some lives.
Put all that war making money towards building schools and hospitals
Fill all of England’s empty buildings with the homeless … I mean all of the homeless
Stop building banks and offices and luxury housing no-one can afford
Stop ignoring climate change and stop all your wars
You use twentieth century solutions
To solve twenty-first century problems
I certainly don’t want anyone to drown or suffocate in a lorry, how ludicrous
Stop passing the buck
Stop with your watered down UKIP slogans
It’s repetitive and it’s pissing us all off
Seriously, I think I can safely say
You are pissing everyone off
I just had to switch Radio 4 off, yet again
Dreadful and harrowing stories
Of disrupted summer holiday travel
I understand that must be annoying
But seriously, it is not really the news is it?
Obama, Cameron, Putin, Bashar, Letta
Whips and spins and government war stirrers
Every single one of you in every war bunker
Yes, you and you, all of you, you make refugees,
Exactly two years later and look at what you have done?
It is September 2015 and social media is again filled with children -
Children across the UK on their first day of school in crisp school uniforms
And dead refugee children washed up on European beaches.
Is this your legacy is it, Messers Bomby?
Please find attached a picture of one migrating monarch butterfly
This is a symbol of the natural beauty and wonder of migration
A human is not illegal, your fucking wars are
You bag of hopeless dicks.
With Kindest Regards,
Pretty much everyone
© 2015. Salena Godden.