An outrage borne witness to

January 13, 2015 9:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

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 Gohorry


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This post was written by John Gohorry

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