Do Not Despair Dear Friends

by joelmckerrow


There is too much pain here. Have you seen it?
Or not seen it as much as felt it. Let the broken wrap around you like chain.
Like heavy chain. Like Sorrow. There is too much sorrow here.

It gets under your skin and changes the way you feel
and it gets under your eyes and changes the way you see.
A dark lens and everything seems hopeless these days.

Everything seems hopeless.

The little girls taken as sex slaves;
The suicide behind detention centres fences;
The black man shot; the little boy washed up on the beach;
The wife beaten; the president and his grabby hands;
The incarceration of colour;
The starving children, always the starving children.

Despair is an absence
and I feel useless
in the blank face of it all.

And yet, my daughter still makes me smile
and my son makes me laugh.
Yet the girl who was raped, she would not stop tickling her brother,
the both of them lost in joy.
Yet the girl with aids and with scabs in the streets of Kampala
she could not stop her giggling in the face of the fire
that burned through her body.
Yet the boy whose family had just been killed he still loved
to play paper, rock and scissors.
Yet they chase each other daily
through the bombed out buildings of a broken city.
Yet they fly kites. Yet they dance. Yet they dream.
Yet the mothers still sing and I have heard their song and it sounds like hope and revelry.


I do not understand it
but joy still resides there, somewhere,
between the spaces of suffering
and amidst the affliction,
and beneath the hurting
and within the wretched.

Where joy should not be
there she thrives
more vibrant than anything.

So if they, those fractured friends, if they may smile in the face of it all,
then I too must find a place of gladness,
lest I deny them the delight they have to feel.

To honour who they are
I too must appreciate the way the sun rises always with colour;
I too must find the flowers growing like hope in the gardens;
I too must savour the taste of these words on my tongue;
I too must let my children draw me in;
I too must hold hands with delight and kiss the lips of extravagance;
I too must revel in this existence
and believe that the God who created this world
did not make it bland, nor tasteless.

She made it full. So full. So very full.

Beauty is everywhere.

Beauty is everywhere.

Beauty is everywhere.