Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Discovery

04/01/2013

A poem, for your consideration. This poem comes out of the fact that I’m currently reading “A People’s History of the United States from 1492 – Present” by Howard Zinn, which is an absolutely excellent book (thus far). Zinn looks at American history from the perspective of the person, not the traditional writers of history, which gives a very unique, provocative perspective on the history being examined. It is history unlike any you’ve ever encountered … and, it is truly compelling. The opening chapter is about the “discovery” of the “New World” by Columbus, which served as the inspiration for this poem. I hope you enjoy it (the opening was also partly inspired by Portia’s speech from “The Merchant of Venice” – heavily paraphrased).

Discovery

The quality of mercy is strained
dripping with gentleness
lacking mercy
they claim it has descended from heaven and
it has fallen
unto hallowed ground
made fertile from the blood
of the warriors
lying dead
alongside their children and
the women who died protecting them and
the old men
torn asunder by
weapons of war
levelled against a population
living without knowledge
of colonialism or the greed it arouses
armed only with spears of cane
incapable of piercing
armour worn by visitors
from distant lands
the peaceful Arawak
witnessed the coming of their
worst nightmares
turning the natives of the Bahamas,
Hispaniola, and the rest of the
New World into little more than slaves
forced to satisfy
Columbus’ thirst for gold.

(more…)

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Banned Words be Damned!

30/12/2012

At the end of every year there seems to be a desire on the part of some academics to “clean up” or otherwise “repair” the English language. While in this day of hacked-up sentences as a result of the truncation of our language thanks to texts and tweets, there are some things that may be going just a bit too far. Lake Superior State University has, perhaps, crossed the line of being a protector of the language to being inappropriate in their zeal to guard the development of our Lingua Franca.

Whether we like it or not, English is a living, growing, and evolving language. It’s literature is the pulse of its health and represents the best, and the worst, of what is happening at the core of the language. Literature is not, however, the only barometer by which we measure the use of language. The printed media must be part of the equation, and then there is the great democratiser of language, that which allows equal participation to anyone who can find a way to connect: the Net. Through the Internet anyone can express their ideas, in whatever words they may choose to use (appropriateness be damned).

Before the emergence of the Internet we could only rely on the printed word – the published word as the transmission of new language. The spoken word was relatively restricted to regional influences that only went as far as the individual travelled. The Internet allows someone to have as great an influence as some small newspapers a century ago, if not more, thanks to things like Twitter and Facebook, and the dissemination of videos through uTube and other sources. Which brings me back to Lake Superior State University.

LSSU has a tradition of “banning words” based on nominations. On the surface it is a totally harmless, humorous thing, and totally dismissible, but there is an underlying intellectual snobbery here that makes it easy to understand why there has been so much animus and overt animosity towards higher education during the past electoral cycle in the United States. Banning words: think about that for a second; if you are banning what people can say, as a word, how far are they from suggesting which books should be banned … perhaps burned? After all, controlling the way people think – the things they can say – is the ultimate repression. It may very well be a joke, and some of the words are ridiculous … but banning them? How about educating people so that they have a richer vocabulary and aren’t forced to limit their choices to such mundane samples of silliness.

Below is a poem that uses the banned words. The link to the LSSU site is here, so you can see all of the words and their meanings. The banned words appear in capital letters.

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE (yes – using it as the title might be cheating … I’ll use it again, I promise)

It is THE NEW NORMAL for them to hide
in their MAN CAVE when told of the AMAZING
BABY BUMP now growing to GINORMOUS proportions
(but this will be a SHARED SACRIFICE you say
as she retches in the morning)
the BLOW BACK from this comes
as you serve as PET PARENT to your
perpetually neurotic poodle who ruins
yet another cardigan
you will WIN THE FUTURE for you
when you OCCUPY the kitchen and she says
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE …
Before tasting the meatloaf.

Banning words only makes sense when they are words that have no redeeming quality … I’d name an example, but … I don’t like to use words like that. The above cited words, while some may be annoying (Baby Bump?), none are really so egregious that they need to be banned. Amazing? Really?

Thank you in advance for reading, I shall be awaiting your comments in my man cave (yes, like I have one of those …). I just occupy the basement. Oh … good one!

Structural Ignorance (poem)

29/07/2012

Structural Ignorance may seem like a strange title for a poem, but … it is all about the implied meaning rather than anything else. This is a cross between a “stream of consciousness” piece and, in some parts and ways, a rant; perhaps it is an unconscious synthesis of the two. The most important thing is that it is for you, dear reader, it is not about the “how” it was written, but rather that it is here now and, hopefully, you will enjoy the writing. There is only one other thing that I’d like to mention before we get to the actual poem: when I refer to the increase of knowledge I’m referring to the increases from both scientific discoveries that seem to be made on a daily basis as well as scholastic advancements that are regularly brought to light, advancements that routinely challenge our “orthodox” thoughts on certain topics. There seems to be a wholesale rejection of science and, in many respects, of knowledge in general from certain portions of society these days (were I to name names I’d have to point out portions of the extreme conservative movement in the United States – particularly in the GOP – that openly challenge scientific facts in favour of conjecture, opinion, superstition, and old wives’ tales – anything but looking at something based on evidence and data that can be proven by reputable scientists). That is where the idea of the “Structural” portion of the title came from. Please enjoy, -p

Structural Ignorance

The sum of what we know
pales in comparison
to the incalculable number of things
we cannot begin to grasp

every passing moment
every breath we take
increaes the number of things learned
the number of things discovered

the mysteries unraveled
would make the minds of the greatest intellects
swoon at the prospect of exploring this
vast knowledge
untapped by many more
than those who use it

but is it a lack of curiosity,
of interest,
of ability?
that keeps so many minds
from exploring something
available to all,
or is it fear?

a fear of seeing the world
differently
of discovering that old beliefs
no longer hold true
that superstitions and
preconceptions need to be challenged
overthrown for
better explanations

or are these simply the minds of
lazy souls who have no interest in
broadening their horizons
especially if that means
doing something

(after all, to read requires effort but
to think requires more)

when it is so much easier
to be entertained,
a passive consumer of
instant gratification
broadcast directly into their homes on over
two-hundred High Definition
Digital channels …
or more,
depending on their package

(yes, the generation that grew up with the
Electronic Babysitter has graduated to an
all-out love affair with the latest incarnation of
the Beast in the Box …
and it’s waiting for you)
but none of that matters
in the end

so long as they have their
“reality” shows to keep them in touch
with what the real world is like
when the reality is
the more they watch
the less they know

as the Beast in the Box
devours their intellect
consumming their senses as it
irradiates their brain
leaving them a perfect subject for
indoctrination
for receiving the
official messages
sanctioned by those who
regulate the flow of information
streaming from the Box that
holds their attention so well

it isn’t a conspiracy
it’s just the way it is,
entertainment designed to keep the masses
satisfied with their lives
never realizing that “upward mobility” only exists
in the world seen in the Box or on the Screen
but rarely in real life

but the more people watch the Box
rejecting the knowledge available to them
the less they realize the peril they are in
for just as the blind cannot sense the shadows before them
only hoping not to trip on cracks or bumps
it is the shadows that must be feared
for they seek to overtake those who
in ignorance
show no fear

why should anyone care
or even consider these words
when the promise of the future seems so
dystopic?
(depending on what lens you look through)

in truth, it seems crazy
mad perhaps,
but consider poor Galileo and his battle
with the church
banning his discoveries
silencing his voice
for not agreeing with the Vatican

oh, but they did apologize …
four centuries later

feared by many
disdained by some
knowledge is held in contempt by others and
despised by a few
but in the end it is something we must face and
embrace

some contend it is the key
to understanding ourselves
while others argue
without knowledge
we are no better than the
animals we so admire
on the Box

continuing in ignorance will
only lead us to become
more like them

less enlightened
less evolved
less
human
as we allow
ignorance to prevail.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Peter Amsel (Aufzuleiden) License granted under Creative Commons Fair Use License.

Senseless Waste (poem)

23/07/2012

A new poem for your consideration – this was inspired by, of all things, a commercial on television. I hate commercials – most of the time I don’t even watch them – I fast forward through them … but, occasionally I find myself being assaulted by their senseless mutterings. More often than not, I mute the set – sometimes forgetting to turn the volume back up when the commercials end. No great loss. Please enjoy.

Senseless Waste

They appear with hypnotic regularity
interspersed amongst other ads for
various luxury items and
other choice pieces that
none of us need
or want
at least, we wouldn’t want them
were it not for these sleek productions
aimed at making us believe
this is the most important
cheap piece of shit made in China
that we can’t possibly live without …
after all,
how can anyone possibly resist
talking hammers (oh, they’ll have them, trust me) that
test sobriety (far fetched? really?
what about a backwards bathrobe?
Nothing is too stupid to be sold
so long as there’s someone willing to
place that call …
go ahead, pick up that phone and dial
1-800-No-Sense)
You’d have to be drunk to buy this crap
or the brilliant (and oh, so valuable)
memorial coins
such marvellous reproductions of
the Greatest American Coins
leaden slugs clad in
less gold than is in your mouth
(most fillings don’t use gold anymore …)
these worthless trinkets touted as
future heirlooms or the
answer to problems
we didn’t even realize we had
(especially erectile dysfunction
and yeast infections,
Good God, you’d think
every women on the Earth
had a yeast infection
but there’s a cream for that,
so don’t worry)
while all they really want
is your credit card number
and its expiration date
(in lieu of cash they’ll also take
your blood
directly from your veins …)
without consideration for the
actual cost
the long-term burden
as people become
slaves to plastic
slaves to the credit cards that were once
a convenience, a safety net
something to help
when times were tough
not to fill houses with
two for one offers sold by
hyperactive pitch-men, the
new Snake Oil Salesmen now
reaching a larger audience …
and just when you thought
the deluge was over
one final assault on the senses takes place
as the faces of nameless children
pleading for help with their eyes
appear on the screen
homeless and starving
diseased and dying
unless, of course, you give them your
credit card number and
expiration date
that will make it all
Go Away …
but it doesn’t
it doesn’t go away
they remain for the next running of the ad
for the next season’s campaign
for the next time they plead for money
oblivious to their fame
oblivious to the exploitation being done in their name
unable to do anything to stop them

but … contrary to the myriad voices
preaching doom at us
in the guise of news
in between their pathetic appeals for money
something can be done
even as we are assaulted by uninformative
noise
unfair, unable to balance on
one or two feet
often found firmly implanted in their mouths
as they gleefully promise
“the end is near”
as though it is an
accomplishment
of theirs
(and perhaps it is,
something they have organized a rally for perhaps)
but
something can be done
right now
something that won’t cost you
One Red Cent
(though it may help you
recover your senses)
all that has to be done is
turn them off:
shut them out
don’t let their voices reach your ears
change the channel or
turn off the box altogether
… after all,
TV is just a passing fad.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Peter Amsel Creative Commons Fair Use License

 

Imagine (poem)

13/07/2012

Here’s a new poem for your consideration. There isn’t really a need for much explanation here, at least, I hope there isn’t that much need for any … so long as you haven’t been living in a cave for the past 11 years, you probably won’t have any difficulties understanding the allusions that I’ve made in this poem. On the other hand, if you don’t understand it … it means one of two things: the poem is a failure or … you’ve been living in a cave for the past 11 years (and/or are hopelessly out of touch with the way things are transmitted by the 4th Estate … but, I could be wrong …).

Regardless, I do hope you enjoy – or appreciate – this short poem and, as always, I appreciate all (non-spam) comments and endeavour to respond to all – as well as checking out your websites (when you include them).

-p

Imagine

The cries echo in the streets
made dusty by the years of war
craters churning up dirt
depleted uranium shells
covering the landscape
burning through genetic connections
searing the DNA of children
foraging in the streets
begging for food from passing soldiers
found toys
made from discarded pieces of militaria
scattered amongst untold numbers of lost childhoods
countless lives destroyed
displaced if not completely reduced
from ashes on ashes
to dust permeating everything
dust in everything

intermingled generations left gasping for breath
as a nation is ground into the dust
bombed into the middle ages by a nation
far more advanced
better equipped
with unlimited funding,
or so it would seem
while many children
go to sleep at night
with empty stomachs …
in America
just like they do in
Afghanistan or
Somalia or
how many other places
around the world
so many of which are ignored by the press
by the government
with nothing to gain from helping them
we don’t even hear about their struggles
lest our consciences be pricked by such images
spurring us off our apathy by triggering
compassion for others
(even while bombs continue to fall a world away)
feelings for people we do not know
compassion flowing from hardened hearts
to save the lives of the innocent
while instead our leaders commit to spend
obscene amounts of money
on wars and rumours of war,
on maintaining their battle against terrorists
who are still playing
with toys in the dust.

Copyright (c) by Peter Amsel (Aufzuleiden). Creative Commons Fair Use License Applied.

Diversion (poem)

05/07/2012

Here’s something that came to me this morning … I hope you like it.

Diversion

The pain was quite real
tearing through the flesh
with talons fashioned from
stainless steel and
other elements
sharpened to an impossible edge
slicing through anything
unfortunate enough
to find its way
in front of the devouring blade

the pain
still real
as the flesh
is sliced open
but now
there is no blood

the blade moves
swiftly
with deliberate, decisive strokes
revealing inner truths …
nothing hidden from
prying eyes
as the pathologist
completes the autopsy.

© 2012 by Peter Amsel (Creative Commons Fair Use License)

Poems for your Consideration

21/04/2010

An interesting thing happened on the way to May, 2010 … I ran across a blog by poet Robert Lee Brewer called ‘Poetic Asides‘. The interesting thing about the site that caught my attention was the challenge: a ‘Poem a Day’ challenge for the month of April. Now, the idea of writing certainly does not scare me, but I wondered if it would be feasible to commit to something so structured … of course, I’m not being graded, so it’s not like somebody is going to rap my knuckles with a ruler if I don’t hand my assignments in on time … right? Hello? Anyone? Seriously, it has turned out to be a lot of fun, very challenging, and artistically quite satisfying. On a few occasions I’ve completed the ‘assignments’ on the next day, but I have managed to finish each of the daily ‘prompts’, which brings me to how this whole thing works.

Every morning Robert Lee Brewer posts a new ‘prompt’, and we – the participating poets – take that prompt and use it to write our poem for the day. A prompt can be anything from a suggestion for a topic to a title, such as ‘The Last (blank)’ – fill in the blank and use that as the title of your poem (prompt from April 11).

So, what I wanted to do was post some of the poems here. On a few days I wrote some ‘off prompt’ poems as well, but when the poem is based on the prompt that will be provided above the title. I hope you enjoy these offerings. Thank you for reading.

From April 2

Gently Weeps

Watching as they coax the sounds
from six strings and pieces of wood
slapped together with some care
these troubadours pour fourth their souls
emptying the contents of their hearts
accompanied by a driving beat
or a simple snare
it all comes down to what the song needs
nothing more, nothing less
as the chords ring through the night
echoing off the bodies in the darkness
I decide to pick up my guitar and
join in the celebration of sound.

______________________________

April 3

Prompt: “Partly [blank]” as title

Partly Conscious

My eyes were open,
at least, I thought they were …
it’s hard to tell when in a dream
if one is really where they might imagine
or if you are merely floating,
freely falling through a universe
created by your own mind
the fruit of your own inner creativity
turned in unto itself
reflecting your deepest,
darkest desires,
spoken or not
they are there
waiting to be captured in the night.

______________________________

April 6

Prompt: exphrastic poem based on ‘Flight of the Witches’ by Francisco de Goya

Prompt for 'Coven' by Peter Amsel

Flight of the Witches by Francisco de Goya

Coven

I avert my gaze
cowering under my veil
not wanting to see
the terrible things
taking place
within reach of my hand …
the Lord alone
is my refuge
from the evil spirits
arrayed against me
from these witches
conjuring up their spells
as they take control
of the elements around them
even the air obeys them
lifting them off the ground
like perverse dervishes
locked in the midst of their
hypnotic whirls
having no need of spinning wildly
to take flight

I can hear them dangling above me
as they continue their chanting and
droning, carrying their hapless victim
away from prying eyes.

______________________________

April 7

Prompt: ‘Until ____’ – fill in the blank and use as the title of the poem (Until the end of time, until the world stops, etcetera ad nauseum).

Until the End of the World

Yesterday’s visions come to the quick realization
that tomorrow will not be as bad as the prognostications
or the delusional ravings
shouted from every soapbox and rooftop that would
bear their weight
in hopes they would get out their message
before you pass them by
but it was all in vain
nobody wanted to listen
nobody wanted to hear that their way of life was
coming to an end
(failure is not an option
but it happens
with some regularity)
their signs go unread
their leaflets tossed aside as
unwanted detritus
filling the gutters with
hysterical warnings that would make
Chicken Little blush
wild claims that make the children cry
as harried mothers hurry them past
trying to ignore the shrill cries of these
sidewalk evangelists
desperately seeking to catch your eye
“do you know the Lord”
they ask as you pass
“I do”
my reply is calm and measured
the opposite of their current state
the look in their eye tells me
they don’t really believe me
but he says “Amen” and
turns away
looking for another soul to save
he has obviously left me to face
the end of the world
on my own
______________________________

April 10

This one was a real challenge: the prompt was to write a horror poem. Robert made a comment, most likely offhanded, that – perhaps – that we might just have the ‘next Raven’ out of the batch. Well, the problem began when I went and revisited Poe’s epic masterpiece and was, in a word, underwhelmed. I’m sorry – this probably makes me some sort of poetic heretic … but … ‘quoth the Raven nevermore’ does absolutely nothing for me. Of course, I’ve read many things that others have raved about that I found to be tediously wrought works of self-indulgent … well, never mind. Let’s just say I’ve never had aspirations of becoming a literary critic.

Prompt: Write a horror poem.

With Darkness Falling

The blowing wind could not dispel
the discomfort of that cold dark night
even as the howling fiends
danced around the cooling embers
of the extinguished fires

those devilish ghouls
sang their songs to the accompaniment of the winds
crying dolefully through the night with
the groaning of the trees
bending to the pressure of their unseen mates

while these maniacal dancing spirits
staked their claim for your vulnerable souls
the cold began to permeate your flesh
biting into your bones as you stood your ground
fighting off their advances with every breath

but it was not enough
not enough to stop the darkness
not enough to stop the cold
not enough to stop the pain
as it reached across the pit of the night

as the cold permeates beyond the marrow of your bones
chilling you to the depths of your essence
you finally succumb to the encroaching misery
your life force ebbing away
as an orgy of death overtakes you
pulling you into its welcoming embrace.

______________________________

April 11

Prompt: “The Last ____” fill in the blank and make that the title of the poem.

The Last Crusade

the army was assembled
just outside the Holy City
with weapons in hand
their thirst for blood was
overpowering them
these ‘warriors of God’
raised their hands to the heavens
invoking the name of their Lord
to bless what they were about to do
‘hear our cry, oh Lord,’ they called,
‘help us deliver your enemies into Your hands,’
their lust could not be contained
as they surged forward towards their goal
oblivious to the sound as the ground before them opened
enveloping them in a twisting mass of arms and legs
as they were delivered into the hands
of the Lord.

______________________________

April 18

Prompt: take the phrase ‘to ____’, fill in the blank or make a phrase, and write the poem – the phrase, etc. becomes the title.

To be

It has become
more
than an existential
statement
of being
‘whether ‘tis nobler’
or some such other
phrases
cobbled together
in some magnificent
collection
of words
long forgotten
by miscreants
who can’t be bothered
to study
the classics

_____________________________

April 19

Prompt:

write a poem about somebody; be sure to include their name in the title of the poem.

Ratzinger BXVI

How much did he know
they ask
knowing any answer will only arouse
more questions
more debate
more anger
knowing that he knew things
long before anyone could have expected
these paragons of virtue
to have swept the ‘sins of the father’
so easily under the skirts
of the marbled statues
in the Vatican sanctuary

______________________________

April 21

Prompt: Take the phrase ‘According to ____’, replacing the blank with a word or phrase, and make that the title of the poem.

According to the Many

I’m often told there is
nothing that can be done
to change the madness
we call our world
but every so often
I look around and see
small reasons for optimism
emerging out of the seemingly
endless abyss of psychosis
spewing from the lips of the
talking heads that have
enslaved so many of those we know …
but every now and then
there is a glimmer of hope as the
shackles of the mesmerizing messengers
are shrugged off
(if only for a few moments)
allowing independent thought
to take place
once again

______________________________

Well, that’s all for now … as I said, I’m not posting everything from the PAD challenge, just a selection of what has been written. More will be posted over the next few days as the challenge continues. Comments are always welcome and encouraged. Thanks again for reading.

Three Poems

13/01/2009

These are three poems that were written recently, the last of which is is somewhat inspired by the recent events in the Gaza strip. The title of that poem, Sh’ma Yisrael, is taken from the scripture where the word invokes, “Hear, Oh Israel, …”. In this case it is my hope that they might just hear the voices of the people around the world calling their murderous actions and attempts at genocide something entirely unacceptable.

Please, enjoy the poems.

Earthly Dreams

Beneath the stars the earth reveals itself
a celestial jewel afloat in unending tranquillity
but this veneer of peace is easily shattered
as one approaches the jewel with many
of its inhabitants firmly entrenched
in a battle for survival
oblivious to the beauty around them
for it does nothing to fill their bellies
or ease their pain during the long nights.

Long nights filled only with the solace
provided by the distant stars
mute points of light that hold the promise of
so many unrealized dreams.
To soar amongst these stars
to be freed from the constraints of this
earthly prison and commune with the
Light of the heavens – rising above all cares
but the dreams are short lived for most
as the realities of this life
the brutalities of this life
pull them back
ripping them from the serenity of orbit
thrusting them back into the cruel reality
of life on earth.

The only ones capable of evading the clutches
of this cruel reality
rely upon their strength of will alone
to deny victory to the encroaching madness that comes
when all dreams are lost.

With visions preserved these select few
look to the stars
they look to the heavens
seeing something more than
distant points of light in an
unending expanse of shadow, of darkness;
they see instead their own futures
their past and their ultimate destiny:
from the cosmic dust it all began
coalescing into the swirling nebulae that
gave birth to the singular jewel upon which
all life runs its course.

Until they ultimately return to the dust
from whence they came.

Copyright © 2009 by Peter Amsel (aufzuleiden)

… of speech

They come in the dark night, or brazenly, during the day:
looking for anything that
piques their interest — “why are they there”,
you ask — but are told, in no uncertain terms, that this …
this is not your concern:
They have been “authorized” to search …
they have been empowered by the law;
empowered to violate
to trample upon
stamp on
shred and burn
your rights
no consolation for you as you are hauled away,
still questioning, “what are the charges”,
“what evidence have you found” …
“can I call a lawyer?” ….

Warrants have been signed by judges doing favours for
prosecutors, none wanting to be the one to
let some evil “terrorist threat” run free.
There won’t be a 9/11 redux on their watch
even if some innocent lives
must be ruined
destroyed in the process
all for the “greater good”.

Their quest for evidence leaves no stone unturned
as they reach back into the distant past of
your life — family and friends interviewed
while you sit, alone and afraid
surrounded by cinderblocks and iron-bars
a thin mattress and blanket your only means of comfort
as you await your destiny
half-believing that “justice” will remove its
blindfold and see that you are innocent
that this is all a mistake — a nightmare from which
you will awaken when the cleansing
light of day burns away the shadows of deceit.

But the rising of the sun does not bring your freedom
nor does it restore your faith in the “justice” system:
evidence was found during the search,
you are told …
things you wrote:
things you posted on the Internet
comments on different blogs and forums
discussions about politics and
war crimes.
Comments about a presidency more concerned
with image than with serving the people
or protecting the Constitution.

Without another word, a phone call or a lawyer you
find yourself labelled an “enemy of the state”,
a “person of interest”, and a possible
terrorist;
stripped of your rights,
your birth rights.

You are sent to where you will await the trial
that may never come
one prisoner amongst many in a place
far removed from America’s heartland
the antithesis of justice and freedom,
promised to be dismantled one day soon.
Until then you remain a prisoner
in Gitmo …
but January 20th is coming!

Copyright © 2009 by Peter Amsel (aufzuleiden)

Sh’ma Yisrael

The eyes of the of the world watch you intently
as your tanks array themselves
with their magazines fully stocked
loaded with the finest made munitions
artillery shells destined to
slice through the bodies of old women and
children
of mothers and daughters
of fathers and sons
of corpses, their eyes still open
their hearts still beating in the desperate
struggle that never ends …
the struggle known by many names,
in many languages
but united by a common spirit:
overcome the oppressors,
overthrow the Pharaohs,
free the slaves, …
Let my people go!

Who are “my” people; “my” brother,
that I may keep them?

When we watch, as one might watch
the latest blockbuster from Hollywood,
seeing bunker-busting bombs
shredding human flesh in
high-definition colour
as you kill with such relish
some questions are inevitable
(aside from the obsession we have for
watching such horrors … and managing to remain silent):
why can’t you find a way to
live together in peace?

If the world is honest than it knows that
both sides are guilty;
judgement is lacking as
stones met with bullets and bombs
have led to rockets that cannot be aimed
met with tanks and precision guided munitions
dropped from the talons of the fighting falcons.

The world watches, united in shock and outrage
but in New York
in the chamber where the “Security Council”
discusses such heady matters as ethnic cleansing
genocide and plain old wars
nothing is decided.

They cannot agree to condemn the violence,
they cannot bring themselves to demand
that you stop murdering innocent children
in the name of “security”.

Pity the nation that cannot exist without a small
episode of genocide every now and then …
we all have them … had them …
why should you, Oh Israel,
be any different? you ask,
why indeed?

Perhaps it is not about fitting in with the
rest of the world that should be of concern –
perhaps you should be more concerned with the
blood staining your garments
blood that will not wash away
or be hidden in the glaring light of the cameras
aiming their dispassionate eyes at you from
around the world
blood that leaves stains on top of stains
from generations of insanity
generations of people unwilling to live
side by side
instead, they fight …
the blood flows
and the eyes of the world
continue to watch.

Copyright © 2009 by Peter Amsel (aufzuleiden)

Dedicated to the innocent victims of the ongoing war insanity: the conflict in Israel/Palestine. Until both sides realize that they can not win anything with violence the only thing that will continue to grow in that pitiful land is the body count as more children are added to the death-toll. Lay down your weapons and return to your families; create things with your hands, things of wonder and beauty, not of death and destruction. Peace begins in the heart.