Troubled Waters

We – my wife and our three
Live in a small village
Our life is simple
Fetching water from the well
Grinding grain to make flour
Washing in a bucket

We knew of troubles in other parts
But never dreamed it would touch our hearts
The rebels, IS, came
And to our shame
Raped our women, stole our crops
Freedom fighters followed

Boom, our village is now a war zone
But bullets and bombs don’t just kill soldiers
I lost a daughter and a kind old neighbour …
Too many killed, now there is no song
Down by our well
We are living in hell!

So to keep my loved ones safe
We need to leave our home place
Crossing seas and borders we must face
Cos surely if we stay here there may be no trace
Crops and homes destroyed
Families scattered like lego toys!

Our quiet simple life
Has become a place of real strife
Need to save my kids and wife
Others can never understand
What it costs to leave your own land!
Can foreigners find kindness and give us a hand?

Do we, safe foreigners, really stop to think
Of this devastating stink
That war causes in those far away places?
Families displaced, traumatised by war
We need to dig deep and help these poor
For their home place is now rotten to the core!

Poetry 101 Rehab – published online by Praxis Mag Online



  1. A powerful heart-wrenching poem Kate,.. And of course we all must help…. It’s no different to what happened at the end of WWII, when all the displaced people/refugees of Europe were given homes all around the world. I think lots of people have forgotten the past and where they too came from….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so powerful and heartbreaking! Thank you for writing this, Kate…and for sharing it!
    We must keep speaking out and then putting actions to our words…as individual people and as countries.

    It’s so sad, and maddening, to think that some countries will never reach out to help. It seems that some won’t because those tortured people can’t do anything in return. What a lousy, mean, horrible attitude! 😦 Countries that can help should always help!

    Your poem makes me think of the the quote from Martin Niemöller…who spent 7 years in a Nazi concentration camp…

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out…because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out…because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out…because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me…and there was no one left to speak for me.”


    Liked by 3 people

  3. Some thought of Syria. I thought of those fleeing the horrors of certain Central American countries, taking their families and seeking asylum in the United States only to be arrested at the border, detained, having their families separated, and being sent back, often without their children, to the countries they were fleeing. It’s inhumane and heartless.

    Liked by 2 people

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