• Tony Frobisher

Universal Declarations*

Article 01: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Walk with me. I was once free, Born into a family Of love and kindness - Yet imprisoned in poverty. Threatened and endangered by circumstance; Conflict, conflagration, the machinations of politics. Forced to flee and tread foreign soil, in the hope of life. Article 01: They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Talk with me, As equals, as friends. Indistinguishable from one another. The black and the white, the left or the right. Unthreatened by persecution for holding an opinion, A viewpoint, an idea different, implausible, unconscionable to the other. The choice presented at the end of a barrel of a gun, be silent or be silenced. Article 03: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Embrace me and Let me cling, imbibing the hope-breath. Protect me within the sanctuary strength Of your heart, your arms, your church, your mosque, Temple or synagogue, your community and brotherhood. A neighbourhood of protectors and defenders, valuing the individual. Enjoining them to become part of the greater good, to enter the community spirit. Article 04: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Face me and Don’t turn your back in ignorance. A pretence that you do not know of my brothers And sisters sold to bondage, of forced labour, of slavery. And not only in some distant land of heat and hatred, or in Fetid sweatshops in a slum that hums with despair and injustice. But here, right under your nose, in plain sight. Yes, here, even here. Article 05: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Soothe me and Comfort me with gentle words And kindness, the soul-healer. And run your Fingers over the scars and lesions and welts and wounds Acquired over years of eternal agonies and the silent screams. Shut up you dogs! One more sound and it will be your last, and that’s a promise! Where pain was measured in hours and days and the length of screams. And the most painful sound of all, the dread of silence. For silence was death. Article 09: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Release me and Let me run and breathe and taste the New rains, not the salt sting of tears and dirt-sweat. Let me paddle in gentling waves, not run in fear of their power That ended lives in upturned dinghies a mile away from Greek tourist beaches. Let me escape the prisons that held our bodies, broke them, crushing our hopes. We did not know if it was day or night or if we feared darkness or daylight more. Article 14 (i): Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution Accept me and Let me contribute to this Country, this land foreign and true Of tolerance and acceptance and hope and freedom. And support and assistance and love and generosity and Let me be as one with you and make of this place a home, a place Where I will repay the debt I owe for saving me, rescuing me, letting me be free. Article 15 (i): Everyone has the right to a nationality. Stand with me And pledge allegiance to Respect, equality and dignity, To universal tolerance and respectability. To friendships that cross and span borders - That flow over political boundaries drawn arbitrarily Stand with me and proclaim one nationality – HUMANITY. *The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10th December 1948 Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt reading The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Tony Frobisher

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