Oh weary is the burden that I carry o’er the fields –
Fields is a useless word for an empty dry desert.
I need fertile places for life and to be a shield
Against the ravages of hunger, starvation and horrid death.

Do you wonder that I look at you with envy and scorn?
You have too much for your needs and those of family –
Into misery, despair, degradation my offspring is born
Because to you I am a ‘no account’ sort of human being.

That appals you because it is not a conscious thought
It is just a fact in the way you view the human race
But you try living in a refugee camp and thereby caught
Can’t go back and don;t welcome my coming to you.

That there are people with practical goodwill to all
Is freely and most gratefully acknowledged. They give
As friend and equal, not as superior deigning to fall
Into the trap of pitying emotionalism and blackmail.

Help I need your hand in mine as we walk the valleys
Together we can conquer all as we work as partner –
Learning and Teaching together as we man the galley –
In ancient time we conquered the world this way, you and I.

If only – the saddest word in the language – we could
Find a common wellspring of humanity and work for commonweal
Then the world would be so full of green Arcadian woods
That we would be innocents playing yet in the Garden of Eden.

Pam Barrington MBE