Paradise

  1. Ale Mercado illustration for Paradise by Zuzanna Charko

On a warm summer morning
As the sun began to rise
I walked onto my balcony
And looked around in surprise

All the flowers I had planted
All the animals around me
Every strand of grass
These things I can no longer see

Instead there are tanks
There are guns, there are knives
There is sweat, blood and tears
Clinging onto our lives

Mothers hugging their children
Fathers fighting for their rights
Religion, skin colour, gender
All of this caused by spite

And revenge and anger
And other reasons alike
And all of this for nothing
Other than hate and dislike

And as the war is raging
Driving people mad
I cannot help but be
Anything other than sad

Because of all this hate
And hurt around us today
We can easily forget
What is really important every day

We need love and gratitude
And most importantly peace
So I am screaming here and now
And begging on my knees

Look around you now
Look around and see
That with peace and with love
We can all be happy

And with all this happiness
Like a paradise in our hearts
We can all change the world
If we all play a part

Note From Editor
This heartfelt poem really moved me. You’ve probably heard of Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old climate activist and founder of the school strikes currently making her voice heard all over the world. It’s easy to feel discouraged as a young person when you look around at all the injustices that adults are perpetrating on each other and on the rest of the world, but Greta is showing us that young people’s voices matter and should be listened to. The raw passion and sorrow in this poem are an appeal to us all to try for a better world. It takes courage to face up to these issues, but that is the job of the poet – to rip away the veil of denial and show the world as it really is.