What can be done about those now labelled Migrants and Refugees
those caught up on the border between Belarus and Poland
those who can neither retreat nor go forward
those who are as human as you and me
yet have become Other?
What can be done
about this ever-repeating motif of despair
the provenance of which is armament and war
power and hatred and avarice?
A woman sits on her bundle.
A child clings.
The barbed wire around the human heart
I long to alleviate evil, but I cannot.
THREE PASSIONS HAVE GOVERNED MY HEART
By Bertrand Russel
Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love
The search for knowledge
And unbearable pity for the suffering of humankind.
Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen—
in a mystic miniature—
the pre-figuring vision
of the heavens that saints and poets imagined.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of people.
I have wished to know why the stars shine.
Love and knowledge led upwards toward the heavens,
but always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
of children in famine
of victims tortured
and of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot
and I too suffer.
IMAGE: ‘Refugees’ by Daud Akhriev
2021-2022 Belarus-European Union border crisis