In Valiant Fortitude – A Poem

By Soraya Boyd

Unlawfully pincered between harsh collective punishment and base military aggression

The tear bedabbled faces of innocent children in constant lacrimation

Afforded no respite cling desperately to their progenitor for safety and protection

Incessantly tossed and trounced in a criminally virulent sphere

Innocent children lead daily lives carved in the deathly architecture of dread and fear

An ever impending Cast Lead or Pillar of Cloud peril looms near

With aggressive intimidation suffused by unremitting violence the customary norms

How can their young minds and tender hearts weather such darkly storms?

Unlawfully starved and forced to subsist on an infinitely nutritionally insufficient diet

Whilst pseudo world leaders, consciously turning a blind eye, remain complicity quiet

Their childhood generationally denied by a carefully planned military regimen of cruelty

Where shall little children safely play in the face of such atrocity?

Fraught with ever present danger, the way to school is tainted by the shameless taunting of settlers’ contemporaries

And when returning from school, often find their beloved home demolished, hounded from every angle, where are the sanctuaries?

When blessed balmy sleep eventually upon their slumber laden little lids does fall

Beneficent solace and comforting reprieve grant a sorely brief restorative interval

Only to wake to another day of a protracted pestering reality: desolate, drab and dismal

Struggling to unshackle the illegal binding fetters of a powerfully armed military aggressor

Who constantly glowers over ruminations of continual dispossession, deeply rooted in the disturbed mind of a serial violator

Unperturbed by its use of white phosphorous, intently strives to perfect the sinister art of murderous conquest

Unsatisfied, the conqueror’s ever scheming psyche agitates, spawned out of a self made perpetual state of unrest

In the depth of their profound misery, woefully weighted by such contemptuous subjugation

Resiliently, innocent children bravely shoulder the brutal load of oppression

In traumatic circumstances, their very tender years confirm unnaturally thwarted aspirations for self-determination

From the heart of their enduring blamelessness, the sacrosanct right to life remains an unequivocal affirmation

 – Soraya Boyd is Founder and CEO of Facilitate Global. She contributed this poem to Contact her at:

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  1. It’s like someone living in the centre of Africa who’s never left, speaking about the Arctic: with no suitable words, if with good ideas.
    What’s wrong with saying, “All children have a sacred right to life, innocence, happiness and joy”, rather than “from the heart of their enduring blamelessness, the sacrosanct right to an enduring life remains an unequivocal affirmation”. ‘Freedom’ is a simple word, so is ‘love’. Let’s say what we mean simply. The words in the poem are those of rulers, governments and bone-headed servants, NOT words for the poor, or children or those of us concerned with freedom, equality and joy.

  2. Thanks Francis. The African and Artic depths of our existence inform the language that articulates our experience. Sound-minded individuals agree “All children have a sacred right to life, innocence, happiness and joy.” The suggested sentence is unfortunately not in keeping with the poem’s depth, energy, tension, pace, flow, rhythm and momentum. Overall the sentence comes across as perfunctory, monotonous and somewhat tedious. Regrettably, it also fails to stir the soul. Finally, the poor may be poor, and the children may be children, but they are not dull. All are endowed with the capacity to be genuinely moved by the vigour that courses through this poem, nothing more nothing less

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