Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How to combat such barbarism?

I have been pondering how to respond to the barbaric idiocy emanating from Oxford, from those who successfully campaigned to stop a debate. But nothing I could write could demonstrate the paucity of their thinking as clearly as their own utterances, which have been fairly widely covered. 

So how does one combat such barbarism? I think poetry might be the best answer. So here I re-publish various pro-life poems I have come across over the years. 

the mother 

Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,   
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,   
The singers and workers that never handled the air.   
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,   
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children.
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
Your luck
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches, and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.   
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine?—
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?   
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

Gwendolyn Brooks



The law's been passed and I am lying low 
Hoping to hide from those who think they are 
Kindly, compassionate. My step is slow. 
I hurry. Will the executioner 
Be watching how I go? 

Others about me clearly feel the same. 
The deafest one pretends that she can hear. 
The blindest hides her white stick while the lame 
Attempt to stride. Life has become so dear. 
Last time the doctor came, 

All who could speak said they felt very well. 
Did we imagine he was watching with 
A new deep scrutiny? We could not tell. 
Each minute now we think the stranger Death 
Will take us from each cell 

For that is what our little rooms now seem 
To be. We are prepared to bear much pain, 
Terror attacks us wakeful, every dream 
Is now a nightmare. Doctor's due again.
We hold on to the gleam 

Of sight, a word to hear. We act, we act, 
And doing so we wear our weak selves out. 
We said, "We want to die" once when we lacked 
The chance of it. We wait in fear and doubt. 
O life, you are so packed 

With possibility. Old age seems good. 
The ache, the anguish - we could bear them we 
Declare. The ones who pray plead with their God 
To turn the murdering ministers away, 
But they come softly shod.

Elizabeth Jennings


By the Babe Unborn

                If trees were tall and grasses short,
                  As in some crazy tale,
                If here and there a sea were blue
                  Beyond the breaking pale,
                If a fixed fire hung in the air
                  To warm me one day through,
                If deep green hair grew on great hills,
                  I know what I should do.
                In dark I lie; dreaming that there
                  Are great eyes cold or kind,
                And twisted streets and silent doors,
                  And living men behind.
                Let storm clouds come: better an hour,
                  And leave to weep and fight,
                Than all the ages I have ruled
                  The empires of the night.
                I think that if they gave me leave
                  Within the world to stand,
                I would be good through all the day
                  I spent in fairyland.
                They should not hear a word from me
                  Of selfishness or scorn,
                If only I could find the door,
                  If only I were born.

G.K. Chesterton


Unto Us...

Somewhere at some time
They committed themselves to me
And so, I was!
Small, but I WAS!
Tiny, in shape
Lusting to live
I hung in my pulsing cave.

Soon they knew of me
My mother --my father.
I had no say in my being
I lived on trust
And love
Tho' I couldn't think
Each part of me was saying
A silent 'Wait for me
I will bring you love!'

I was taken
Blind, naked, defenseless
By the hand of one
Whose good name
Was graven on a brass plate
in Wimpole Street,
and dropped on the sterile floor
of a foot operated plastic waste
There was no Queens Counsel
To take my brief.

The cot I might have warmed
Stood in Harrod's shop window.
When my passing was told
My father smiled.
No grief filled my empty space.
My death was celebrated
With tickets to see Danny la Rue
Who was pretending to be a woman
Like my mother was. 

Spike Milligan

A baby's view of abortion

I came as tomorrow
Swaddled in innocence
To your warm womb
Without your choice
Or mine
Destined to up date
With time
Our human tree
But before love
Grew into flesh and words
What is unfinished creation-
A precipitation of blood
Became my transcendence. 

yoonoos peerbocus


I hope any publishers whose copyright I am infringing will be mollified by the fact that I am bringing these poets to the attention of a wider audience - and that all of these poems are already available freely on the internet.

1 comment:

umblepie said...

Thank you for these so sad, but memorable poems.
If I may, I would like to add the beautiful poem published by the greatly missed late Richard Collins, of 'Linen on the Hedgerow' fame,a poem for the unborn written by Richard's brother:-

The Cry of the Unborn.

Hear me O God. Hear.
From the depths of my condemned cell I cry.
None will hear me but You because You see,
I have no vote.

I did not murder nor did I steal or wound.
Yet I am held here helpless before the sterile steel.
Or the poisoned needle.
A death too brutal for murderers is a death
reserved for me.

No comforting breast nor loving Mother's arms await me.
My body will be given to be burned.
What have I done? I have not earned
this sordid unlamented end.

In sin was I conceived. Unwanted I die
before I shall be born.
O when the metal enters my brain,
when I shall kick my last convulsive agony,
take me, take me to Your arms.

None will console me, none cherish me.
None hear my last suffocated
shriek from the traitorous womb.
Save You, save only You.
O love me God.
John Francis Collins R.I.P.