Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Promises and lies

This is the darkest and most difficult piece I've written to date. One of which I did not enjoy writing. However, sometimes a reality kick in the stomach is not a bad thing to make us realise that most of us are not that badly done by. How one human can inflict such degrading pain upon another is beyond me.

Promises and Lies

Body tearing pain forced upon me with
vicious rapes and beatings. I’ve no tears left.

Mum paid her life savings to set me free,
backs of trucks lorries and boats. Sardines
contained inside this hard metal tomb.
It stinks, it’s hot, no water no toilet;
children clinging to their mothers crying,
old man in the corner, undignified . . dying.

A land of dreams, buy new things
You’ll have a job waiting on tables.
Promises, promises lie upon lies.

A cigarette hung from his lips
paid ten quid to ride on my hips,
only the pimps seem to get rich
now I’m just their dirty little bitch.

Today is my birthday and I’ll be 15, yet
I’ve witnessed a life time of such horror.
Promises, promises lie upon lies
all I have now, a life I despise.

Julian Clarke © 2017


  1. You captured it with certainty. The subject is difficult, but a wonderfully written poem.

    1. Thank you, Annell, your comments are much appreciated

  2. Thank you, Julian, for lending your voice, for making this visible, for caring and building such strong images that even the numbest must feel.

    1. Hi Susan, your remarks as always are much appreciated.

  3. Julian, you have portrayed this very much the way one must feel in such circumstances. As you say, most of us are so fortunate to not endure what millions endure every day. Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation. The saddest words: "I'll be fifteen."

  4. First, I agree with you that such a topic is quite draining but an important one. Your poem breaks the heart and tugs at one, especially upon the realization of a fifteen year old going the horrors of a victim of human trafficking.

    Thanks, Julian.

  5. Well done, my friend. You opened our eyes to a harsh reality.

  6. So powerful it made me tear up. It is so difficult to imagine that these things are happening right now. Great poem!

  7. Abject poverty is the main cause of all this and this includes poverty dwelling in minds too. Human trafficking is awful and so degrading. The lines are so full of pain specially "Today is my birthday and I’ll be 15".

  8. Human trafficking stories are full of 'promises and lies'. Very true and all the more painful. A heart-rending poem...

  9. Beautifully penned, Julian. To use a young body and ignore the soul the resides within is the most egregious crime that one person can commit against another!Thinking about it makes me sick... A touching poem...

  10. Promises and lies. More and more this is a world that sickens me. This is so well written, Julian.

  11. Richard Fleming4 August 2017 at 11:32

    Very strong poem, Julian. The final rhyming couplet is particularly powerful. Well done.

  12. Very well penned! I can understand what you must have gone through will writing this.

  13. very powerful poem...well written


Comments are very much appreciated and I shall endeavour to reply, however, this may not always be possible due to time restraints.