poems, each interrelating with the other. The book is thematic, that is, there is a process that takes the reader from one point to another. I have attempted to portray the victim of human trafficking, the perpetrator and the parent hopefully coming to the rescue. I have tried to put myself in each of their shoes. But there is one poem that seems to stand out from the rest. The poem itself differs from my usual style in that it actually rhymes (something I never do). I wanted the poem to feel more like a change. So here you go. It is called The Risking Point.
Introduction I would like to warn you in advance that this book is different than any other poetry volume you have ever picked up. Perhaps it is different than any other book period. It dramatizes the seamier side of life. One that most people do not like to talk about. The subject is human trafficking and it is not something that happens way over there in another land. It is something that is happening in our communities, right this very instant. It is a scourge upon our society. Roughly speaking there are some 13 million children world-wide that are being or have been trafficked. Studies show that within 48 hours of a child running away from home they will be trafficked. But not all are runaways, some are enticed to meet their predator offline.
We warn our children to not take candy from strangers. We tell them to run away if a stranger accosts them. Why don’t we do the same with online strangers? These predators are lurking and seducing our children. We need to educate them and make them aware of these dangers. Sex trafficking is big business and the bad guys are not choosey, they will take boys or girls.
Grooming, it almost sounds like a good thing, but it represents one of the most heinous crimes in the world. Like many words in our vocabulary that have been skewed and corrupted, grooming is one of them. In a process known as “grooming”, a sexual predator first identifies then gains access to a child by any means necessary. After identifying the victim, the predator then sets out to gain the child's trust, break down defenses, and sexually traffic them.
Unbeknownst to most of us this malicious breed of predators roams the internet trolling for our children. They hide in the shadows silently waiting for their prey. They are lawless seducers of the innocent waiting to pounce on the vulnerable and naïve. The purpose of this little volume is to bring to light these harbingers of evil and make parents, friends, teachers and relatives aware of this menace. It is time for us to come together, educate ourselves with these tools and prevent our children from being seduced into human trafficking.
This volume of poetry seemingly innocuous is a powerful tool for you, your family and your friends. It starts with innocence and takes you through the grooming process hitherto kept secret and provides vital information to break the shackles and bonds that deceive.
Something can be done about this situation. It is in your hands as a parent, aunt, uncle educator or community leader. It is up to us to educate ourselves and our children. It is important to note once again that within 48 hours of a child being on the street he or she will be trafficked. We can prevent that from happening. Read this book. Have your children read this book. I write this book to preserve the innocence of the young.
The Risking Point
spoken. He is a poet of the people, a veritable folk-poet climbing out of the gutters of conformity, never to be constricted by the yokes of the plain and boring. He reaches for the golden ring and may miss but never ever stops reaching.
Western Heritage, a featured poet in Chrysler’s Spirit in the Words poetry program, co-founder of Poets for Peace (now Poets without Borders) and helped spearhead the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry project which incorporated hundreds of readings in hundreds of cities globally using the aesthetic power of poetry to bring understanding to the world. He was the recipient of the Saint Hill Art Festival’s