When I hear the stories
of my elders,
it’s hard to believe or
imagine such things.

Being forced out of their
homes, without an explanation.

A land that once flourished
with love, life, colour;
suddenly broken, fractured  and clouded with fear,
segmented and torn apart,
destroyed, damaged and in ruins.

“Our ordinary lives turned
upside down – we were refugees over night,
monsoons and floods
hit the land like flowing tears.

We watched powerlessly-
our wives and daughters being raped and killed;
our fathers and sons
murdered before our eyes; our homes and businesses
looted by raiders taking advantage.

There was nowhere to hide
so we grabbed what we could,
leaving our villages behind
where ancestors’ graves and memories lay.

Some neighbours and
friends became our worst enemies;
others gave all they had,
putting their lives at risk.

No goodbyes were said –
saving our own lives was everything,
only to start from scratch
again with fragments of our lives,
trying to control our minds and
emotions for the losses we had endured.”

What right do they have to draw
these brutal borderlines,
where families, loved ones, homes
filled with joys and memories,
are taken away in a fleeting moment
leaving tears of anger,
anxiety, anguish and
thirst for revenge,
leaving a gaping hole,
scarred for life?

“How can I forget my home,
my livestock,
my favourite ox, my beloved
land that once
gave me pride in my life…
now all gone?”

Desperate mothers search for
their children like mad women.
“Have you seen my child, my baby?
Where is my sweet child?”

Repeating over again, wailing and
crying over their lost children.
“Have you seen my child, my baby?
Where is my sweet child?”
Finding a child she doesn’t know
she takes him away from danger.

“This child is lost, I will take him.
Who knows what religion he is?”
Not caring about his background,
she cherishes this lost child as her own,
hiding him from the
hands of fanatic strangers.

What are the values and ethics
of hatred and battle?

To kill or preserve human life,
what rights do we have?

A threat to human beings;
the smell of peril, the
taste of poisons, painted in blood;
it sadly continues to
make history.

“The broken promises from
our untrustworthy government,
destroying innocent people’s lives-
in suffering;
who know nothing
about political affairs.

Whatever happened to
protection and compassion?

Why don’t we put a stop to these
terrible mistakes?

Instead we just create pain
over and over again.”

Kuli Kohli

Kuli Kohli is a poet from Wolverhampton, who was born with mild cerebral palsy in northern India and moved to England at an early age. She is a writer, mother, wife and full-time council worker, and featured as the first showcased poet on Poets’ Corner earlier this year. Kuli has published her poetry collection ‘Rag Doll’.



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