An outrage borne witness to
He is not to be shown, they declared,
since to show him would be a defilement
of the perfection he is. Unrepresented,
unlikenessed, they revere him in verse,
action, the azure geometries of the faith.
Others sketch him as pantomime villain.
Action – armed, militant – grows to fury
in the hearts of the disaffected, who burst
into newspaper offices, guns blazing;
two minutes leave twelve citizens dead.
For them, there is only pursuit, search,
a stake out, the martyrdom they desire
in a storm of police bullets. Five million citizens
of all ages and classes, of all faiths and no faith,
fill the streets in support of freedom.
Among them are plumber, shop worker, baker,
butcher, bus driver, farmer, student, electrician,
newsagent, lawyer, teacher, forester, hairdresser,
prince, cleaner, bricklayer, Buddhist, Christian,
Jew, Communist, Muslim, forty world leaders.
How many are poets? Two thousand or ten.
And where are our verses? We fly the tricolor,
hold up journalist’s pencils, banners that say
I am Charlie, I’m a Jew, I am Ahmed. Perhaps
it’s too soon, yet, for nuanced reflection.
Or perhaps, as conspiracies thicken, and terror
strikes at server and citizen on any street corner,
nuance is shop-soiled, long past its sell-by date
on the shelf of the supermarket where hostages
shrink down on the floor, afraid for their lives.
I’d have no uncertainty, sidestepping nuance,
notebook, not gun, on the table, pencil in hand,
my geometries drawn and discarded, worked at
on the premise that Each is the other and if we
don’t love and respect one another, who will?
John GohorryTags: Arts
Categorised in: Article
This post was written by John Gohorry