Sneakers that will change the world


We forgot the taste of brine, the tears: the sea
We forgot the hunger of the crested waves
    their eyes with desert sand, and reaching hands.
    the bodybags
We forgot the comfort of our property —
    the land we have.
We forgot the barrel bombs and slaughter masks,
    the burning cages and the drones,
    the sound of bodies falling to the ground.
We forgot the question asked,
    for fences and Pegida’s no.
We forgot the songs and poetry,
    for yet another steak to fill the grill,
    for gasoline in V6 four by fours,
    for blessing smiles of one percent.
We forgot the maiming of the innocents
    the Youtube flicks, the ISIS-dicks
We forgot the war until it came:
    his sneakers soaked, and like he slept
    his death will move the world.

The raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault

The raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault


Today Grace hosts poetics at dVerse by giving us the performance poetry by Loyce Gayo. I will not show you the image of Alan Kurdi. There is a war going on all throughout the Middle East, and Africa, and we are watching, forgetting. It seems like the image of a 3 year old on a beach of Turkey might move the world, very much like the image of Phan Thi Kim Phuc burning in Napalm changed the Vietnam war.



September 8, 2015

26 responses to “Sneakers that will change the world

  1. It is heartbreaking to watch. So frustrating and hard to understand at times, until that moment of clarity. I wonder if this is enough to wake us up. I really wonder.

    Your list poem was effective and builds nicely, I would not knock it at all.

  2. I hope it will be enough to move the world ~

    I specially admire the ending lines Bjorn as they are powerful verses:

    We forgot the maiming of the innocents
    the Youtube flicks, the ISIS-dicks
    We forgot the war until it came:
    his sneakers soaked, and like he slept
    his death will move the world.

    I will listen to your recording in a bit ~ Thanks for the inspiring words and read ~

  3. Sheesh, dude. This is AMAZING. Absolutely flawless. One of the best of your pieces that I’ve read to date. From the first word to the last, I love it.

  4. A powerful diatribe against the bellicose nature of most men, most sects, countries, regions. good stuff, brother. I took inspiration from your previous Cohen muse, & wrote a Haibun, part list poem, all rant. I like your line /we forgot the war until it came/.

  5. We forgot the war until it came:
    his sneakers soaked, and like he slept
    his death will move the world.

    So often we tend to forget the sacrifices war heroes make for our sake.. powerful write 🙂

  6. Bjorn, you have said exactly what I thought – that the photo of that small body on the beach reached the global consciousness the same way the photo of that burning little girl did. I love “and ;like he slept, his death will move the world.” What a fantastic prompt this is!

  7. Oh.. the world sings
    a different song than US..
    Our soil never sullies wars breath
    other than terrorist attack.. ah.. grant
    of US.. shall behold grazed of others over
    there as food for cows.. until the cows come
    home… oh moo forget moon
    shines a
    child
    is born.. as
    ashes rise
    in phoenix
    sUn..:)

  8. Ah Björn, Thank you for your words. Unfortunately, if it’s not shoved in front of our faces sometimes we pretend not to see. Not here, not with Alan. Even without the actual picture as a reminder, your words bring him to life. You cannot read this and not be moved.

  9. My brain tied the title into the first line, bringing the image of those sneaker waves that are so dangerous…we are often lulled by the sea, forgetful of its power. How apt, for this subject matter. This is a wonderful piece, Sir.

  10. Powerful!!
    We seem to be more easily moved by one personal story….to wake us up from our desensitization. Maybe the bigger picture is too overwhelming for us to absorb….therefore easier for us to “forget”.

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