14 december

And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Image on top of the page was taken from the article “Refugees” on the United Nations website

We Refugees

by Benjamin Zephaniah
(taken from the benjaminzephaniah website)

I come from a musical place
Where they shoot me for my song
And my brother has been tortured
By my brother in my land.

I come from a beautiful place
Where they hate my shade of skin
They don’t like the way I pray
And they ban free poetry.

I come from a beautiful place
Where girls cannot go to school
There you are told what to believe
And even young boys must grow beards.

I come from a great old forest
I think it is now a field
And the people I once knew
Are not there now.

We can all be refugees
Nobody is safe,
All it takes is a mad leader
Or no rain to bring forth food,
We can all be refugees
We can all be told to go,
We can be hated by someone
For being someone.

I come from a beautiful place
Where the valley floods each year
And each year the hurricane tells us
That we must keep moving on.

I come from an ancient place
All my family were born there
And I would like to go there
But I really want to live.

I come from a sunny, sandy place
Where tourists go to darken skin
And dealers like to sell guns there
I just can’t tell you what’s the price.

I am told I have no country now
I am told I am a lie
I am told that modern history books
May forget my name.

We can all be refugees
Sometimes it only takes a day,
Sometimes it only takes a handshake
Or a paper that is signed.

We all came from refugees
Nobody simply just appeared,
Nobody’s here without a struggle,
And why should we live in fear
Of the weather or the troubles?
We all came here from somewhere.

Benjamin Zephaniah was a poet, essayist, novelist, lyricist born in Birmingham, England. He has written extensively on a number of social issues and
has been recognised by Time Magazine as one of Britain’s top 50 writers in the post-war era. Further information can be found here

The Crow on the Cradle

The sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn
Now is the time for a child to be born
Reach for the moon, and laugh at the sun
If he’s a boy he’ll carry a gun
Sang the crow on the cradle

If it should be that the baby’s a girl
Never you mind if her hair doesn’t curl
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
And a bomber above her wherever she goes
Sang the crow on the cradle

Rockabye baby, the black and the white
Somebody’s baby was born for a fight
Rockabye baby, the white and the black
Somebody’s baby is not coming back
Sang the crow on the cradle

Now your mammy and pappy, they scrape and they save
Lord they build you a coffin and they dig you a grave
Hushabye little one, never you weep
‘Cause we’ve got a toy that can put you to sleep
Sang the crow on the cradle

Bring me a gun and I’ll shoot that bird dead
Yes that’s what your mammy and pappy once said
Crow on the cradle, tell me what shall I do?
That is a thing that I leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle
Sang the crow on the cradle

“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice.
It demands greater heroism than war.
It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”

Thomas Merton

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