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Stanley Arumugam Sep 2015
Like so many hundreds that day
He eventually reached his destination
The European shores of refuge
Dressed in his Sunday best
ready for Church in his new land

We stood by with our global media
to welcome him at the water’s edge
but he would not speak as usual
his mum said he was a shy boy
Still we clicked our cameras
beamed our global images
and moved on to the next story

He lay there alone – black and blue
watched by a policeman - unsure
how to handle this crime scene
not sure if it’s in his jurisdiction
a foreign child washed up
on the water’s edge
spewed out of the ocean belly
rejected twice – at home and in the sea

The meticulous autopsy revealed
that he had a swollen head
still full of grandiose stories and lies  
told by his mum every night
fantasy stories that kept him warm as she dragged him
walking mile after mile after mile like weary soldiers

In his heart he carried memories of a new country
where he would be free of fear, have food to eat
be able to play with his sister - not worry that
his neighbourhood would be shelled again
He boarded the rickety boat – head held high
pretending to be a brave young man - even though
he was terrified of water and unable to swim

I sit at home in my warm sofa watching the news
thinking how cruel this mother could be
to put her child through a horror such as this
how could she make a child walk for miles and miles
how could she put him on an unsafe overloaded boat
how could she act illegally and so irresponsibly  

I sit at home in my warm sofa watching the news
thinking why Europe needs to be burdened with Syrians
thinking why rich Arab countries will not take in their own  
thinking why Christian countries have to give home to
Muslim fundamentalists opposed to the teachings of Christ

When I’m done with dose my self-righteous thinking
a child shows up on my flat screen TV
washed up on a lonely shore
I switch off the TV but his image haunts my dream

I see a Syrian child - head held high
walking out of the icy Mediterranean sea
leading a band of desperate children – exhausted, broken
scared, starving, smiling with renewed hope
My dream seems to end like the deMille classic
the Egyptian chariots sink into the bottom of the sea
The children are free in the land of milk and honey

Only this time, from the promised land of refuge
a thousand chariots or more come rumbling down
along train tracks, cargo vans and police trucks
rounding up children to transit camps
where death is sure
for a hundred, thousand
six million more

Stanley Arumugam
13 Sept 2015
“The migration crisis enveloping Europe and much of the Middle East today is one of the worst humanitarian disasters since the 1940s. Millions of desperate people are on the march:  Parents are entrusting their lives and the lives of their young children to rickety boats and unscrupulous criminal syndicates along the Mediterranean coast, professionals and business people are giving up their livelihoods and investments, farmers are abandoning their land, and from North Africa to Syria, the sick and the old are on the road, carrying a few treasured belongings on a new trail of tears.”
Stanley Arumugam Apr 2014
The First Apostle

Did you know your calling?
When He first met you

Transformed by His healing hand
Your love-turned passion
Inseparably bound to his being

Scorned for your lavish yearning
Prophetically anointing perfume-blood
Head to hands to dusty broken feet

Your walk with Him closer to death
The rugged weight of dry wood
Heavy heart anointed in knowing tears

You stood by his side-abandoned
By pharisaical disciples cowards call
His love grafted into bone and sinew

The empty mocking tomb
Like your barren heart
Devoid-all you lived for
Rudely taken away

Then He touches you again
With glorious anointing
Head to heart to weary feet
With apostolic "Go-Tell" command


Stanley Arumugam
Mary Magdalene (original Greek Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή),[2] or Mary of Magdala and sometimes The Magdalene, is a religious figure in Christianity. She is usually thought of as the second-most important woman in the New Testament after Mary, the mother of Jesus.[3] Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at Jesus' two most important moments: the crucifixion and the resurrection.[4] Within the four Gospels, the oldest historical record mentioning her name, she is named at least 12 times,[5] more than most of the apostles. The Gospel references describe her as courageous, brave enough to stand by Jesus in his hours of suffering, death and beyond.[3] WIKIPEDIA
Stanley Arumugam Mar 2014
Like a Lover hiding a special gift
He leads me – eyes closed on a winding road
I want to peep – just to know – to be sure
He tells me to trust him – not to open my eyes
After a while its not fun anymore – my anticipation
Is replaced with ritual and boredom – distracted
By the gift I neglect the Giver that is with me

When I’m tired we stop – he feeds me when I’m hungry
My feet is strengthened – I rest in a shady place
I know He walks beside me- yet I murmur and moan

I am a child of the nation he walked with ages ago
I ask the same childish questions
Are we there yet; Can’t we stay here
Do we have to go on; Can’t we go back home

Patiently he leads me on
My legs ache more than my heart
We climb higher and higher still
My heart faintly remembers why
Were on this journey in the first place
It was I in ******* that cried out
For his salvation
He heard, he came and he rescued me
We escaped mighty armies
Lived in divine provision – enjoyed protection

I was living in the land of milk and honey
Then he calls me to move again
A cloud of witness by day
A pillar of fire by night

I long for fine gold and garlic
Suddenly the sound of Pharoah’s burdens seem light
I could live with his whips on my bruised back
The shame, the scorn, the drudgery matters less now
Then  I had security, shelter, food, work
Even though I was settled in a foreign land

Yet my heart yearned for something more
Something unknown - When I desired this yearning for what could be
The bread and meat of slavery was not enough
I had a vision of more awaiting me- the more
Promised to my father’s – an inheritance to be claimed

I was to be a king and priest – not bonded slave
I was to be the image of God – not a platonic shadow in a cave
Great, mighty, blessed to be a blessing
I was to be like a million stars lighting the sky

Now I walk with flimsy sandals
Tired legs, weary heart, torn dressing
Faithfully following my Lovers leading

When my mind is still – He speaks
Assuring me that all will be well with my soul
He will never leave me or reject me
I am His bought with a price more than silver
Gold or the galaxies of the heavens
I am His special possession purchased before time
Lost and found through His grace
I am His beloved – the apple of his eye

As I still my mind – He speaks
Above the distracting noise of success
Into the drowning noise of fear
He speaks of fresh hope – manna for today

As I listen in – I hear
The sound of still waters, the smell of fragrant lilies
The summer breeze on my skin, the softness of his hand
Holding me – leading me and when the moment is right
He asks me to slowly open my eyes and see

With the delightful anticipation of a long lost lover
He looks at me – sensitive to my every response
I look with blurry eyes  - then slowly start to see

We’re standing on a mountaintop
In – between land and sea and sky
Colours collide in cosmic chorus
Birds sing in tune, waves crashing cymbals
The mountains thunder in praise
Heavens pour down with refreshing rain
My tears of joy and utter awe melt my tired heart
He embraces me tenderly – touching me – teaching me
Stanley Arumugam
Tuzi Gazi, Richards Bay
30th April 2012
Stanley Arumugam Mar 2014
Treading on toothpicks
thinking about tomorrow
time teases
tired tadpoles
trying to transform
trains transporting
transparent  travellers
to tall tin trees

typed at Teatime
ty Tismee T
Time: To-o-to TM
Stanley Arumugam
8.01.90. Durban
Keeping my sanity in a management meeting  - my first job
Stanley Arumugam Mar 2014
Help me read between the lines
To see the whole - not just the parts
To understand your wisdom ways
that speak parables and paradox
If I could but grasp the difference
between temporal and eternal
I'd listen out for the story within
Words unspoken - meaning found
Treasure hidden in sacred sound

Stanley Arumugam
28th May 2012
Stanley Arumugam Mar 2014
I write what I cannot speak
Words - held captive
in the depths of my soul
slowly, silently, suffocating
Words - I'm afraid of saying out loud
Words - hiding my heart desires
my fears, my despair, my hope

I know this to be true
when they are heard by others
They will be judged
I will be judged

I've learned this over time
It's safest to keep my words
imprisoned - out of sight
in the dungeons
of my soul

But they keep crying out
needing to be heard
Crying out in the still of the night
Words - heard only by me

It's in these moments
when their voice Is louder
than I can bear
It's in these moments
I write to you - in secret
I write to you - my words
that cannot be spoken

Stanley Arumugam
Sandton 26th April 2013
Stanley Arumugam Mar 2014
I am learning to listen
to what's not said
to read between the lines
to see the invisible sights
to feel the silent heartbeat

I am learning to listen
to the moments of friendship silence
to hear you dive deep in our dialogue
and come up floundering breathless
I have to resist being your saviour
Just watch you go up and down
up and down but you do not drown

I am learning to listen
to your unspoken presence divine
in the quiet of my lonely night
when my mind is taken over
with a million unanswered questions
regrets, shame, hopes and dreams
painted on white walls of ****** frustration

I am learning to listen
in the times you do not speak
in the times you embrace me
with all of my deep uncertainty
my fear - my doubts - my pain

In the moments I think you absent
and nowhere to be seen
you sit across from me - silent
listening and not to be heard

I often neglect the greatest gift you
give to me - as my lover-friend-divine
to enjoy you as the one
who does not want to be heard
but the one who just wants to listen

Stanley Arumugam
17 April 2013
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