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The Day We Woke Up

one morning in spring
we all woke up
stared in awe at the light
seeping in through the blinds.
lay there awhile
consumed by it all
the sheer joy of being alive.

made our way to the kitchen
one step at a time
feeling the cool ground
beneath our bare feet.
stood at the window
bathed in the light
of a miraculous new day.

then we opened our front doors,
had our breath swept away
by the beauty and the madness.
and as all the doors opened
along every street
across every country
on every continent
we stared in wonder
at the damage we’d done
and sorrow filled every heart.

so together we gathered
and with no need for words
the debris was cleaned from the streets.

the day we woke up
the planes were all grounded
cars sat unused
shopping centres were bare.
and in slaughterhouses
all the world over
workers were in revolt
and grisly lines ground to a halt.

the week we woke up
our conflicts were settled
with love and with compassion.
the air was so clear
and the streets so quiet
with no sound but conversation.

the month we woke up
we all joined together
and communities formed
as walls came down.
orchards and gardens
were planted in thousands
and our hearts filled with laughter,
music and art.

and as the weapons were thrown down
across every war zone
slowly the healing began.

the year we woke up
the cells were all emptied
and the birds started to come back.
plants began pushing their way through the tarmac
and car parks bloomed into habitat.

that was the year
the offices were emptied
and mountains were moved
so that all mouths were fed.
we stopped seeing bodies
instead, we saw souls
each one so beautiful
discrimination dead
and the love couldn’t be suppressed.

then the past was nothing
but a bad dream, fast fading
and finally
we could all breathe again.

***

A while back, an idea came into my head. I wondered what would happen if everyone woke up one day with an awareness of all the issues facing our world and a desire to put things right. This poem is my vision of how things might be.

Of course, in reality we won’t all wake up at once. But I find it inspiring to think of what we could achieve if we put our minds to it. And for those of us who are activists, it’s important to keep our sights on what kind of world we want to create.


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