Simrhan's Poetic Wake Up Call
This year's winner of the Sixth Form section of Literature Live at the Festival of Literature was Head Girl, Simrhan Khetani. Not only did Simrhan give a passionate performance of a strong and beautifully written poem, she had also written the poem herself. Competition judge and performance poet Ian McMillan warmly praised Simrhan, saying, "People who write these sorts of poems tend to stick in a bunch of abstract nouns; you haven't.”
Wake Up Humanity by Simrhan Khetani
Nature is withering and people are dying;
We are oblivious to the sounds of the war children crying,
We pretend it doesn’t affect us, our minds rotten with ignorance,
And overlook the real limitation that is our existence.
We intoxicate ourselves with drugs and powders,
As chemical gases corrode innocent lungs each hour.
“Did you see what she was wearing, what was she even thinking?”
Whilst refugees board a boat they know to be sinking.
“I’m skipping school today, I look like an abomination!”
“I am a girl; therefore I don’t receive an education”.
We throw away food if we don’t like the presentation,
Food that could feed half a suffering nation.
Our planet is our servant - we use her at ease,
Powering our wireless network at the expense of her trees.
We constantly hear statistics about increasing pollution,
But we carry on polluting without any real solution,
So climate change and extreme weather has become exponential,
But making fuels and weapons seems to be more essential.
Bombs attack civilian villages, but why make a fuss?
We don’t care about a thing that doesn’t affect us.
Deaths are just statistics; numbers on screens,
We don’t know these people; we don’t care what it means.
Children beg on the streets until someone pities their faces,
Or they take them to sell as sex slaves in unknown places,
Little girls being married before the age of 10,
Married to men, 3 times the age of them.
They have their own children before they’re 14,
Their daughters grow up to face the same scene.
Saudi girls go to jail for being a victim of gang rape
They’ve had sex outside of marriage, a crime they can’t escape.
Almost half of South African men have committed this act before,
Almost half the victims are girls under 12 years old.
The media only covers what the public like to see,
The reality of the world is too harsh for a screen.
But none of this will matter when our world won’t be found,
When half of us are bombed, the other half drowned.
All that will remain is bitter tranquillity,
So wake up humanity, and take responsibility.