“The Children of Aleppo”

Lady of Shallot rose

In light of the very recent chemical attack on Syrian citizens, and especially on the attack on children and babies, I can’t continue to post this frivolous “Metamorphosis” series.  The sight of children and babies choking to death because of Assad’s usage of chemical weapons on his own people is beyond belief.   It is my opinion that Assad has sunk to the very pits of barbarism.

Jane Kohut-Bartels


The Children of Aleppo


There is no childhood in Aleppo.

There are little martyrs-in-the-making

Where 5 year olds and 8 year olds

Wish for a ‘family death’

Where they can die together

With their parents

Where they live in peace in Heaven

Never tasting the fruits of peace on Earth.


There is no childhood in Aleppo.

The children haunt the abandoned houses

Of friends who have fled the city.

There they find abandoned teddy bears

While looking for guns for the rebels, their fathers.


A dead canary in his cage

Abandoned by its owners

They flee the rockets, bombs

And mortars.

In the face of daily death

The sight of this bird

Evokes a child’s sorrow.

The gunfire outside continues

(They are used to the noise)

And huddle in the pockmarked

Halls until safe to scatter.



The children of Aleppo

Have no teachers, doctors.

These have fled the cities, schools

But they still pine for ice cream,

For music in the streets,

For curtains not torn by violence,

For books and toys

And gardens and flowers,

For friends that have not died

Innocent blood splattering

The dirty cobble stones

At their feet.


The children of Aleppo

Are free and children again

Only in their dreams,

And perhaps, if you believe so,

After death.


How do you put back the brains

Of a child in the cup of the shattered skull?

How do you soothe the howls of the mothers,

The groans of the fathers in grief?

How do you comfort surviving siblings?


The children of Aleppo

Have no future as children.

Suffer the little children.

They are the sacrifice of parents

And factions,

And politicians

All with the blood of

10,000 children

Who have died

In a country torn

By immeasurable violence.


The beautiful children of Aleppo

Like children everywhere

Still want to chase each other

In the gardens, on playgrounds,

Want to dance in the streets,

Want to pluck flowers for their mothers

And they still pine for ice cream.


Suffer the  children

For who on this warring Earth

will suffer the most?


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2016





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7 Responses to ““The Children of Aleppo””

  1. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Brian. One of several chemical attacks, and they have mostly been ignored by the EU. I don’t like more war, but something has to stop these chemical attacks. Seeing babies dead from these attacks, well, truly shocking. Unbound savagery.


  2. Sherry Marr Says:

    Jane, this is beautiful and powerful. I am struck by the child who, in the midst of death, has sorrow for the small dead bird. Children know how life should be. What a world we have made for them. Getting worse by the week and month. Thank you for this poem which resonates so deeply.


  3. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Sherry. I wish there was no necessity for such poems, but unfortunately…this is not the case. These children in Syria all over the world don’t deserve these conditions to grow up in….or to survive in..if they do. it’s always the children who suffer the most. I saw a program on Aleppo and this poem wrote itself. What can we do? Basically nothing on our level, but try to apply a kindness in their name. I am empty of other suggestions. Thank you, dear friend Sherry.


  4. kanzensakura Says:

    Oh this is so heartbreaking Jane. The poor people…assad needs to be placed in a small air tight room and gassed. Such infinite sorrow. Oh my heart.


  5. Susan Anderson Says:

    It’s horrific, and your poem is a powerful statement of that truth.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Susan. I just wish we didn’t have to write poems about these things. It seems that is the only thing left for most of us to do. And yes, it is horrific what is happening in the world today. Thank you, Susan.


  7. ladynyo Says:

    I agree Kanzen. It is beyond belief that anyone can gas children, babies. Assad needs to go. However it is accomplished. And this blight on humanity is a doctor and went to Oxford. Didn’t change much or any of his nature apparently. Thanks for reading, dear heart, and you comment.


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