Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To the World Leaders

To the World Leaders
for the dead, the dying, and the condemned

You've seen the pictures:
.....photographs whose flesh can't crumble
..........beneath makeshift sheets -
.....images that won't rot or reek
..........or raise cheers from beyond the wall.

You've read the words, but not heard
.....the voices or the sirens wailing
..........before fire balls fall into the streets
..........where children played - where mothers
.....paw and pray over their still remains.

You looked beyond the window
.....before bombs and blowflies
.........were called to do god's work,
.....before the bones were hung,
..........like pale and brittle curtains, shading the view.

It was easier then to look away from featureless faces
.....to pretend that God is Love
..........but how, now, do you not recognize the faceless skulls
.....that are the face of self-righteous hatred?


  1. After the loss of a second child, much of these feelings and visions must be ascribed to someone--easy to make the leaders responsible. But like politics, religion is local and the Hezbollah and Jews hold tight to ancient beliefs that aren't real in the modern world. It doesn't matter --mothers send bombers into crowds and believe they are martyrs--others believe the scrolls promised them the holyland. Religion is the mother of this pain.


  2. I thought words could never be enough when I saw some of those pictures, I thought it's something to choke on: can't swallow, can't throw out... But you have proven me wrong.
    Now, if only they would listen...

  3. Jim~
    You are absolutely correct there.

    Those pictures have eaten me alive constantly since I first looked at them - maybe because I've so recently lost my son, maybe because I've finally taken off the blinders and realized that there are individual people, civilians, children - all dying such horrible deaths. Before, they were news stories to skip past.

  4. War is a product of irrational and irresponsible leaders. This is a compelling poem about the victims of war and for those who survive.

  5. Hi Erin, thinking of your grief, how much easier to have a face of self righteous hatred to deal with - with the possibility, that just maybe, with enough public pressure, something might actually change, and lives be saved. I read once about god being dead and now it is just up to us...