Two thousand years apart

Two thousand years on, the lesson’s the same:
Shine light in the darkness. Highlight their shame.

Cruelly hurled to the ground, unable to rise
A frightened young woman, blind fear in her eyes.
Whilst looking for love, she’d been captured by hate
And now she lay helpless, resigned to her fate.

Made brave by the crowd, in which they could hide,
Cowards empowered, her death to decide.
So ready were they to condemn her to die
Some carried sharp stones they’d found lying by.

Good people, as usual, they drifted away
Not wanting to see, too frightened to stay.
Except for this one day, this tale I am telling
When there was a pause in the hatred and yelling.

One man spoke out.
I don’t know how he dared.
If it had been me, I’d have been too scared.

“Step forward,” he said. “If you’ve never done wrong.
Step up now, if you know, that your whole life long
You’ve not told a lie, nor made anyone cry
Not punched, pinched or hit, nor failed to try.
Step forward that man, and that man alone
And you be the one to throw the first stone.”

The brave man returned to the studies he made.
No-one stepped forward.

No-one even stayed.

And after a while there were two people left
The poor lonely woman, alive but bereft,
The brave man who smiled and let her go free.

I hear you ask: “Why’s this important to me?”

Two-thousand years, you’re still telling this tale?
Do we still need it? Has it grown stale?

Although human lives are ever fast-fleeting
The tales of our lives just keep on repeating.
We need this tale now, more than we did ever
We’re growing less wise as we’re growing more clever.

Cruelly insulted and damaged by lies
A frightened young woman, no hope in her eyes
Seeking approval, instead finding hate
Believes she’s deserving this pain as her fate.

Made brave by the keyboards, behind which they hide,
Cowards empowered to jeer and deride;
So ready are they to destroy this young life.
Though hers is the hand – it’s them guide the knife.

Good folk ‘unfollow’ or just scroll on by
Not seeing the danger, or too scared to try
Lest they too become a target for trolling.

A minefield through which our children are scrolling.

Back then, we had cowards who hid in the crowd.
Now we have cowards who hide in the cloud.
Two thousand years on, the lesson’s the same:
Shine light in the darkness. Highlight their shame.

Good people: please don’t look away,
think of something kind to say.
Nerds and geeks: now be the heroes
find those who hide in ones and zeroes.
Companies: you can do more.
Don’t be like those who’ve gone before.
Don’t be like makers of cancer sticks
Who told us lies and made us sick;
You’re growing rich while children die
You’d serve them better if you’d only try.

One thought on “Two thousand years apart

  1. I love your poems Ali. The Link editors wondered if we could put one or two in the Link – I said I’d ask if they could access your blog but have made no promises! Lots of love jx


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