Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Poem: "This Long Pilgrimage to Sadness"

"The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women and children, the destruction – and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said in a statement.
Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters

"This Long Pilgrimage to Sadness" (Aleppo)
If the Child of God is born this season, this month, to this earth,
He is wrapped in brown blankets, attached to an IV with liquids,
And carried through the bloody streets of Aleppo, by parents
Whose love is not satisfied by the smug tweets of tycoons,
The timid treaties of international alliances, or even prayer.

Their eyes scan the land for shreds of kindness or snipers;
Or maybe they simply stop looking, because the rulers of the world
Seem not to care, and not to know, stunningly callous
To the suffering of mother, father and the little one
Wrapped in brown blankets, and attached to an IV with liquids.

When all that matters is oil, and oil fields,
What all that matters is the next war, Blackwater and Halliburton,
When all that matters is quick profit, or slow and steady profit,
When all that matters is staking claims to the lands and homes
And livelihoods of others, we lose track of this Child,
And where he is, and how he wails and aches and bleeds and breaks,
And who holds him on this long pilgrimage to sadness. 

13 December 2016
DGJ, Santa Cruz 
See the story and photograph here.