Stunted growth


Fragile flowers should be left to sink roots

Drink deep, life-giving liquid.

Burst open in a joyous display of colour

Run riot, in glorious exuberance.


Instead they find themselves uprooted

Forced to fend for themselves.

Amidst mass-produced slaughter,

Innocence wilts and dies.


Children dodge bullets and traffic.

Violence packaged and commodified.

Desperate, they hawk blood-red roses

In the fast lane of life.


Poem inspired by a news segment on BBC Newsnight, in which a father in Syria describes trying to care for his family, with no hope of getting a job, and no welfare state. He says that he watches his young children try to sell flowers to passing motorists – most ignore their attempts. When his youngest daughter gets tired, he takes over himself, but he said that the children sell more flowers than he can.


Paul Murphy (Socialist Party MEP) on the humanitarian crisis as a result of the civil war:



You can read some more of my poetry in ‘Little Red Poetry’ (£4 pbk, £2.50 pdf e-book).

All proceeds go to build a new party for ordinary people, against cuts and privatisation. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Copies are also available from Left Books

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