Friday, 4 December 2009

The Lost Children

Small pink-bellied hands
like thirsty tongues
licking at my heart,
and brown eyes sad
beyond my understanding.

They break me, these small dark
children of the narrow streets,
These wisps of wild uncared for lives-
Round grey balls for knees,
and skin as rough as sun-dried leather.
They sniff, they shout, they smile,
There is joy like spilled sunshine,
There is life- run, jump, fall-
And never cry.

Where is their pain?
The same sun warms their sun-dried skins
As shines upon my garden wall
And makes the diamonds dance
In a million scattered drops
That flow from my sweet scented fountain.

Those drops that fall
And dry to nothing
on the hot white concrete floor,
Do they sparkle any the less
Before they fall?

Fiona Jamieson


Anonymous said...


The poem is beautiful and I chose it for my drama practical but in order for me to be able to recite it as a story and not a poem, I was wondering if there is maybe a chance that you could give me some background on it, like why you wrote it, what inspired it, how did you feel writing it etc.


Fiona Jamieson said...

Hi there,
So glad you liked this poem. The background to it is:
I lived in South Africa from my birth till about 10 years ago. Most of that time I spent in Cape Town, and the children that inspired me to write this were the little street children - aged between 6 and 12 - who lived in rough shanties or whatever other shelter they could find. Their parents were either alchoholics or dead and they seemed so very unfortunate - yet despite that they laughed and played just as my children played in my oh so perfect landscaped garden. The only difference was I never saw them cry.
And that was so sad.It was if they knew no-one cared so there was little point in crying - no-one would comfort them if they did. When my children cried I was always there to 'kiss it better'. That should be every child's birthright.