Saturday 20 January 2018

Irish mother pens touching poem for drowned migrant children

A photo of Syrian children Alyan and Galip in happier times.
A photo of Syrian children Alyan and Galip in happier times.
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

An Irish mother has penned a poignant poem inspired by the harrowing images of a Syrian toddler which were published this week.

Speaking to, the author - who wishes to be known only as 'An Peann', said that the poem's objective is "to make people think".

"I am not just a pen I am a mother too".

"I feel very strongly about these atrocities".

Read the poem below. 

The image that inspired the poem was that of Aylan Kurdi, one of two toddler siblings who drowned along with their mother as they tried to reach Greece.

The image shocked the world as it was published under headlines such as "humanity washed ashore".

An image of a policeman tenderly picking up the toddler's lifeless body was also shared worldwide as the human cost of the migrant crisis really hit home.

A symbol of despair, washed up on a beach

Alyan's father was later reported to have collapsed in tears outside a morgue in Greece where his family were reposing.

Father of drowned Syrian toddlers Alyan Kurdi (3) and Galip (5) prepares to take bodies home


Said the Sea to the Land


'Sorry little children' said the remorseful bitter Sea; 'I did not want to take you, it was not up to me.'

The angry sea rolled in to land and said ‘we better make a plan.’

‘Four angels washed upon your shore, before tonight; how many more?’


Little people of the sea, your faces now stain their history.

Little arms above your heads, may you fill their cold cruel hearts with dread.

The land and water touched with sadness witnessing these acts of madness.


‘There was room for all’ said the beaten Land, 'until in came the hand of man.

With cruelty, do they treat each other, trying to blame their actions on others.

They seal their borders, rezone their lands, they turn their cheeks "he’s not our man".’


All the while these people suffer, from persecution to passage much tougher.

'I cannot promise I shall not take another’ said the Sea in a remorseful shudder.

'Let them open their eyes today, this situation cannot go away.'


‘I open my arms’ said the Land to the Sea 'but honestly the decision lies not with me.'


An Peann

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life