Poetry for Global Dignity Day 2013

Poems by Josh Solnick and Francesca Beard mark this important day.
21 Oct 2013

by Josh Solnick

On a hill-top high above the city, there’s a boy running across the grass with a piece of string in his hand held tight
It’s the string of a yellow kite that fights the rocking wind
Ducking and weaving like a boxer in the ring
A boxer with his head held high
Even though he’s been hit-down low
Sitting down as the the bell before the sixth round goes he thinks of his grandpa
Sitting in his arm-chair, bare arms coming out of his faded shirt.
He was ill and always coughing,
Sitting in the room off the hallway rocking,
He always told him: ‘hold your head up
Even when the road is rocky
Even when the boat is knocking up against the rocks
There’s a storms coming
But you were born son and that’s enough
You were born son’n whenever your backs against the wall remember this warm summer,
Remember you’re free
Remember you’re a kite-runner.
We all need something to believe.
I believe in you. One day you’ll believe in me.
If that’s what you need.’

We’re all digging. Digging in the dirt
In the sky twisting in the turf for some worth.
You could own the world and still have nothing,
Still trying to grab something
Tugging at the walls.
Or you could have next to nothing and really have it all inside your crystal ball
Each night a chrysalis to sleep in bursting out into the golden dawn
Rich with possibilities.
It’s all about how you hold your head
Like the droopy walking dead left and right an awkward step, unsur
Or a walk that rings out freedom, a stride that people see and say:
‘Just see them, all the troubles that he’s been in,

Still he walks with such a reason like his shoes have self-belief in, you should see him’.
Life’s an ocean, that we’re all a boat in floating,
People get lost it’s such a pity,
It’s a big city that we live in but you can’t give in,
Know your worth have dignity.
Be a lightbulb, be a ribbon
That dances in the wind off the rib of the kite
Be a kite-runner high upon the hilltop
In the darkness be light.


by Francesca Beard

It’s not something I put on,
A medal pinned to my chest,
Reflecting in the shine of stranger’s eyes.

It’s not something I give out,
An iced cake, sliced with a silver knife.

It’s not something I buy,
With the click of a cursor, a plastic swipe.
I could sell it, but I’d get in return, only sorrow.

We were born with it, our common birthright,
Down to earth as gravity, basic as sunlight,
Got til it’s gone,
Intangible till you miss it.

I’ve never woken up, yawned, thought
“My lungs don’t hurt at all this morning’,
Never jogged down the road, thinking
‘Awesome, my feet work.’

But take my air,
I will burn inside.
Break my bones,
I’ll suffer to heal.

Take my dignity,
I will struggle to be me.