"When I grow up, I want to be a Child!

(Those are the actual words of Lazaro, a child soldier from Mozambique. Following is a mothers' song dedicated to all those children worldwide who are being denied their basic human rights. It is an attempt to bring to your awareness their cry for help.)

When I grow up, I want to be a child,

Oh, just a child!

To play, to sing, to dance,

And dream dreams that everyone cares.

But nobody cares, I'm hurting,

No time to play, I have a war to fight.

With guns and knives, slings and stones.

I don't know why, I don't know how.

But when I grow up I want to be a child,

Oh, just a child!

Does anyone care, I'm hurting?

In the sweatshops, I slave and die . . .

Down the alleys, I feed from the bins

To ease the pain, I sniff glue,

When the police shoots, I run

Down the sewers, I wander,

I'm hungry, I'm cold

I cry myself to sleep and dream,

When I grow up, I want to be a child,

Oh, just a child!

by Hilda Ducasse

Silent Screams

Grim faces of children trekking through snow
To yet another safe haven.
Bright beady eyes in parched leathery skin
Pot -bellied babes in mothers' lap
Too weak to hug, too dry to cry.
Vultures circling above, awaiting!

In the docks, before the judge,
You stand my child.
Too small to reach above the rail
And yet a monster too!
From a mother's arm, her baby plucked!
To laugh and kick and play the killing game

These games, my child,
Only us the adults play!
On the big screen, we shoot and kill.
Screams of pain to chill your blood
Guts gushing from gaping wounds.
Are just for fun and megabucks
Pray understand, be a good child!

High in the clouds, we play the game
High tech, smart bombs, the experts say,
To wage a war, a bloodless war!
Others don't count. We've got the might
Pray understand, be a good child!

Down the city streets, some women chant,
The right to kill their babes as yet unborn.
Curious you join the fun and ask how it is done.
Your friend who knows it all, explains like an expert
Pray understand, be a good child!

by Hilda Ducasse

The Awakening

In her fossilized state, Lucy like the sleeping beauty,

From her ageless sleep, awakens to an enlightened world!

Like flowers in the meadow, of diverse shades and shapes

Her offsprings sprout from all over the Blue Planet.

Ebony hues glorious in the radiance of sunshine!

Ivory pallor of the Far East as soft as petals blooming!

Pale faces in the icy north, glowing like peaches!

The proud Tuareg in his blue garb,

Is but another bloom in the desert sky.

And in between Lucy, children of different hues and shapes

Sing a song, a song of love, a song of joy.

But Hark Lucy! Why is your heart so heavy with care?

Is it a nightmare mother, you just awakened from?

Flowers in the meadow happily blend their colours

In a tapestry of shades and hues to rejoice the eyes.

Why then do your children, Lucy, feel so alienated,

Under the pretext of the colour of their skin,

The shape of their eyes, the fullness of their lips?

Take heart, Oh Lucy, mother of all mankind!

A new dawn is breaking.

A world of enlightenment is coming

Where Man is reclaiming his soul!

Beneath the ageless sun, your children know

They too must take their place as equals.

To climb the highest peak of universal consciousness

We soon will share

To cast aside the masks that hide our true self

And make us all the Sons of God!

by Hilda Ducasse

The Choice--A refugee's lament

Down the valley growls a hungry dog.
Glimmer of hope, a light beckons.
A loaf to share, a rug to rest
Water for parched lips, Water!

Friend or foe, we come in peace!
If not a smile, Please make it quick
A shot to grant us rest, eternal rest!
To live, to die, who knows what's best?

Out of the mist the barrel of a gun juts.
"Water for the children." The motehr pleads!
"See how their bare feet bleed!
But for one night, do let them rest.

"The choice woman, the choice is yours."
The boys with you at dawn, will leave
But your daughter woman, we need
To build a nation
A nation to fit our dreams!

Sharper than a viper's bite,
The sting runs deep.
The girl smiles, dripping milk on her dirty rags
Happy faces curled up under warm blankets
A mother smiles, a living dead!

The choice is yours echoes the night.
In her mother's arms, the girl crandles
The morn too soon to break.  The choice is made!
The blue ribbon with the amulet
Is slipped gently around the little girl's neck.
Token of love! Token of hope!

Trekking under the desert sun
The refugee camp is but a week's journey ahead.
Sore bones, parched skin will heal
but the gleam in your eyes, woman, is gone.
You are only a living dead!

by Hilda Ducasse

All works published by permission of the author.

Hilda Ducaase was born in Mauritius and now lives in Saskatoon, Canada.  She holds a B.A.
in Education and currently she teaches.  Ducasse is active in the art community and has done some work in bronze plus she has been involved with various creative writing workshops organized by the Association des artistes de la Saskatchewan.  She writes in both French and English.  Her writings have been published in Ruelle and L'Eau Vive (French Canadian publications).
Ducasse comments:
"The sufferings of children around the world is of great concern top me.  In 1986, with the help of another mother, we started the organization, Mothers' International, postulating the idea that mothers (and by extension parents) do represent a powerful moral force and can, when speaking with one voice, generate the will to seek redress for the denials of children's basic rights worldwide.  For eleven years, we worked hard on various campaigns but in the end we had to give up our dream for lack of human resources.  This was before I discovered the Web." 

NOTE:  We will be including some of Hilda Ducasse's works here in French.