Human Beings

Surfers on Asilomar State Beach, 30 July 2021

Human Beings

(for the company of the truthful and beautiful Red Red Shoes

by Charles Way, staged by the Unicorn Theatre for Children)

        look at your hands

your beautiful useful hands

        you’re not an ape

    you’re not a parrot

you’re not a slow loris

    or a smart missile

        you’re human

        not british

    not american

        not israeli

not palestinian

    you’re human

        not catholic

not protestant

    not muslim

        not hindu

you’re human

we all start human

    we end up human

        human first

            human last

        we’re human

    or we’re nothing

nothing but bombs

    and poison gas

nothing but guns

    and torturers

nothing but slaves

of Greed and War

if we’re not human

            look at your body

with its amazing systems

of nerve-wires and blood canals

    think about your mind

which can think about itself

    and the whole universe

        look at your face

which can freeze into horror

        or melt into love

    look at all that life

        all that beauty

        you’re human

    they are human

    we are human

let’s try to be human


– Adrian Mitchell, Come on Everybody: Poems 1953-2008 (Bloodaxe Books, 2021, ebook edition)


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