Awake in the 21st Century

The brave schoolgirls of Iran,
beaten by the police of Tehran,
crying ‘Women, Life, Liberty’ –
what a brutal 21st century.

The young women of Afghanistan,
denied education by the Taliban,
even war can’t set them free,
in the mediaeval 21st century.

Across the former Soviet Union,
whether Ukrainian or Belarussian,
children with no future or history,
in the territorial 21st century.

In North Korea, China, and Taiwan,
too many babies become orphans,
but executions aren’t shown on TV,
in the artificial 21st century.

While the children of East Africa,
die from a drought or a massacre,
there’s always cash for the military,
in the post-colonial 21st century.

Then there’s the kids of Newtown,
where so many souls were gunned down,
in a democracy where guns run free,
in the hypocritical 21st century.

In every corner of the world,
little boys and little girls,
pay the price for our apathy  –
in the technological 21st century.

October, 2022

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