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Kelvin Fowler
New Zealand

Kitchen - Charles Olsen
Kelvin Fowler. I am a Kiwi who grew up just south of Dunedin, New Zealand. I am presently working with, among other people groups, orphans in the ex-Soviet country of Lithuania  My email address is latefs at gmail dot com.
Kelvin writes, "the following poem originally titled 'Darius' is a true story about a boy of whom I know. Darius grew up in a Lithuanian orphanage and like so many kids fell victim to drugs. This is my version of his story."


You lie there in the starkness of your understanding.
Four green walls and a lifeless gurney.
The tube down your throat sucks your history from you,
As the drugs that you use depart from your decaying body.
Detox is the intersection where your history is flushed away and your future is chosen for you.
Borstal for users and naughty boys, but not for drugs.
The court has deemed for you a childhood with a lock and key.
But David as they pump you dry and further condemn your future,
I want to reflect on the fourteen years that have got you here.

Did you ever get to call out the names Mum or Dad,
Is there any memory of them at all?
When did your heart harden,
Did it happen when you were abandoned and institutionalised?
Or did it come from being bullied and beaten, underachieving and surviving on your own?
David you are still a lovely boy, you're still good inside,
But the barrenness of living with eighty kids has made for you some unhappy choices.
So now David the perception of your genre has moved from a problem to user and looser.
There is only God for you now.

By the way, I saw your abandoned little brother yesterday.
The poor soul was moping around as lost and lonely as ever.
The kid's still a dreamer but now his hurt is closer to the surface.
He is too young to understand your loveless life,
But he's old enough to follow your example.
A government paid caregiver, social worker and coach are his last line of defence,
Before he meets you on the other side behind the lock and key.

I don't blame you David, I am angry at you and I love you, but I don't blame you.
I don't even blame God, let alone the system,
I am just numb from walking the tombs of hopelessness and helplessness.
Just numb from the empty lives of so many lovelorn kids.