In light of the horrible events unfolding in the Sudan today, and now in Kosovo as well, a number of poets and writers from around the world have come together to voice their protest against the terrible things being done to the unhappy residents of Darfur , Western Sudan , and now to Serbian Christians in Kosovo by their Islamic neighbors. We also very much regret the many similar happenings of this nature all across this unhappy continent, Africa -- Somalia being another example as well as now in Europe. We hope for peace. It is unfortunate that Serbs killed off so many Moslems a decade ago, but that does not justify the ethnic cleansing now happenig in Kosovo, nor the destruction of historic landmarks.
SING LADY by Val Magnuson Across the room she came, the feathered Kwanzaa queen walking through clouds and rainbows into some noonday dream sing lady- of border crossings from sunshine lands those portraits in blue sailings and your flocks wing to wing chainings with Captain Midnight and his boat flyers over one way waves sing lady- spread your tatterings paint portraits of sages and slave runners those reflections of nudes descending into towering cities and their prostrations and frustrations- play some audio dna of how life is so beautiful in america sing lady of the neo head tell of the candidate for peace that King man with rainbow sky that ball of fire who gave light to mountains and had his own dream, stamps! sing lady of how we love america that cosmic adventure even if you're from canvas city sing its resume Val Magnuson Copyright 2004 (http://ValmMagnuson-com.com)
AFTER SHE SAW THE CHILDREN HACKED BEFORE HER by Lynn Lifshin USA Copyright 2004 she slid under the bodies. Someone came back, saw her breathing, beat her hard and left her to die but she dragged herself, she could not use her arms, used her teeth to dig out a potato and eat it. Some one else took her to a barn where her wounds filled with worms. Then her daughter's dog came, licked them clean. Now in court for the murderer's sentencing she limps, her steps halting after the 4th man hacked part of her leg off, turned her foot backward. Will justice bring back my children she whispers, bring me someone to bring me something from the market? Copyright 2004, by Lynn Lifshin Possibly the most widely published poet in the history of the world
Not Bliss by Stazja McFadyen , Usa (editor/publisher of Map of Austin Poetry e-newsletter) Ink rubs off the newsprint staining my fingers. Current events get under my skin. Children, less than old enough to bear descendants, bear arms against their masters' enemies. To madmen, everyone is the enemy. Foiled children, forced to witness Father's execution, Mother's rape, Baby Ashraf's, Baby Wu's, Baby Magdalena's mutilation. Facts I do not want to face but cannot turn away, knowing unawareness is not innocence. Copyright, 2004 by Stazja McFayden , USA
CATTLE AND HOLY COWS Sara L. Russell , 26th April 2004 Allah approves farming of infidels, Or so it seems, out in Western Sudan, Women are raped near burned-out citadels, By men who twist Allah's celestial plan. Wounded and childless, homeless, widowed now, They see their children sold in slavery And wonder at what unknown holy cow Endorses disregard for sanctity. Mankind's modernization, highly-prized, Seems meaningless beyond banality; Sophisticated - not yet civilized, While yet prevails such cold profanity. Old gods stand speechless; tribalism reigns Where holy words echo through empty brains. NOTES [on this sonnet, Western Sudan and the old malaise of tribal violence]: Humanity has become more sophisticated without becoming more civilized - there is still looting, burning, torture - all manner of warfare, to this day, for the same old reasons of tribal territory and religion. Only now we can do it more quickly, on a larger scale. Some call this civilization; I call it monkeys with nukes. So here we are, finding ourselves at the top of the food chain, yet stupidly preying on each other - and all the while we are being defeated by something much smaller and more deadly: super-bugs. It would be better stop all senseless killing and do something for mankind as a whole - start looking for cures. At the same time we could look for something more realistic than the old "love each other" hippie philosophy. We could simply start with mutual tolerance. Less immolation, more communication. Sitting round a negotiating table may not seem as exciting, to young men, as sneaking around with bombs and guns. But it probably gets results more quickly than any war. Unfortunately however, as demonstrated in Western Sudan, there are still savages and barbarians at large... probably using the word "war" as an excuse for spreading their seed through the female populace wherever they invade, and killing off the men, to ensure their own dominance. The occurrence of this type of savagery remains unchanged since primeval times. Sara L. Russell , 26th April, 2004. ( England - Editor, Poetry Life And Times)
O PEERLESS MAN by Mary Louise Shirley Vaughn Hopson Iowa, USA Black Ivories, sons of the African Dawn, Some places the rivers flow calm, Why do you swim, still, in dark waters, Sinking back down into the abyss, long ago, Dredging up so much and so much? O fierce warrior whose strong frame Crossed the Fatherland trading sagacity, Fusing so much and so much... Soon tribal chieftains laced with greed, Their partners in trade, woven alike, Garbed in Souks, tongues Ishmaelitic, Bartered with a kiss prized tribesmen, Adept, exchanged for trinkets, Tricked, trapped, names lost, Shackled in smooth cloth, Cast into ships that sailed to and fro Upon the turbulent high seas Spewing so much and so much... When strong shouts met with lashes Rendered by the hands of Masters Suited up for the journey Conquering so much and so much... While stepping up the trade in pride lost Reason crippled with dread, The chant of villagers captive, quieted By the churning of the waves, Silencing so many and so many... O descendants of Black Ivories. Sons of the African night, Still caught in the undertow, Submerge this vessel of grappling iron, unmoved, An anchored trap waiting! Waiting! Luring aboard so many...for so much. Copyright, 2000 by M.L. S.V. Hopson
A Child's Epitaph By Michael Burch (Copyright 2004) (USA - Editor of The Hypertexts.com ) I lived as best I could, and then I died. Be careful where you step: the grave is wide. Neglect What good are tears-- can they spare the dying their anguish? What good -- our concern to a child sick of living, waiting to perish? What good--the warm benevolence of tears without action, the eloquence of prayers, or a pleasant benediction? How many children will die with swollen bellies consumed by flies, their eyes too parched to cry? I hear the faint lament of souls departing, mournful and distant. How easily we could have saved them, how pitiful our effort, how fatal its effect. If they died, then surely we killed them, if only with neglect.
Devaluation of Life (Part 2) by Debashish Haar , India Editor, Mystic East Anthology This prison was constructed with bricks of freedom Where tortured love is paraded, naked like a prostitute, Where trust is violated and light wanders for a home, Where curtains gather fresh creases in blood and white... No, this is not a kingdom of oil! Nor a garden of gold! This is a place where blood is de-colored in soil, This is a place where hatred is an art bought and sold. A place where freedom is looted, ‘coz there’re no pearls or gem-stones, A place where women and children are sold For the price of their kidneys and bags of bones A land praying for a dry and fissured sky to fold. Champions of freedom have so far overlooked this dung-heap; One day air ‘ll ignite and turn life into oil, and so they wait and weep. Copyright©2004 Debashish Haar
The Arrogance of man by David Taub , U.K. Editor of Poetry e-Motion Who deem to dole out rules and 'roles' - and limit those whose only failing strength is to 'submit' ... To tear apart the lands and lives 'fertile grounds' and 'humble wives' in argument of 'betterment' as they see fit ... Who's 'structuring' - 'improvements' (not) drive to 'better' - (better what?!) A dizzy pace (no sense of shame) Their victims - women, land (- their 'game') Then those who struggle with their 'wealth' compromised world's failing health ... Their questionable realism i question with a cynicism that they defend - "Ha! Idealism) Forgive me - is this 'Sanity'? as arrogance chokes humanity .... Copyright ©© February 1997 David Taub
Sheltered Life by Michael Bugeja , Director and Professor Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication IA State University Ames, IA , USA I cannot ponder genocide. I am Witness only to the word that cannot Clothe or soothe or shelter the afflicted-- My feeble privileged life, which would comfort If it could, but failing that, is testament Silent as a prayer to some unseen power. Copyright, 2005, by Michael Bugeja
Inshallah: Bullets for the Prophet by Joseph Armstead U.S.A. They are hungry for Heaven. God looks down, past spinning spy satellites, past secret weapons platforms, past invisible frequencies masking covert intelligence transmissions, down through ash-filled clouds, past the screeching jet fighters, past the phalanxes of incoming rockets, down upon the parched plain, upon timelost ruins, the tombs of kings, and sees blood and misery in the grim faces of his stoic children. It is not good. It is not just. The path to the gates of Heaven is not paved with spent shell casings. They are hungry for Heaven. Once heart of ancient Nubian Dynasties, now the largest nation in the Motherland, Once home of the Cushites in the Middle Kingdom, forever bisected by the winding Nile, where Muqurra, Alwa, Meroe, and Sawba saw the rise of Christian Nubia, now the site of massacres at DarFur in a very uncivil war where the Names of God are interchangeable with the names Kalashnikov, Heckler and Koch, Colt, and Smith & Wesson. It is not good. It is not just. The Gates of Heaven are festooned with barbed razor-wire and the paths of devotion and of righteousness are a minefield. They are hungry for Heaven. God looks down upon this maddening Feast of the Hateful, and sees a future made black under the bodies of the dead and the dark light from tortured souls sold into slavery and shame. Blinking back a tear, God turns and looks away. The hungry fall into a fitful sleep, souls starved, Heaven's banquet denied. --- fini --- copyright © Joseph Armstead 2004
ART LESSONS by Debbie Dembinski and Mike Wilson Copyright April, 2004 USA In the gallery’s light we speak quietly. Paintings flaunt their textures, more bold than we who hold a palette and hesitate to pick up a brush. We who march because we don’t know what else to do, who long for love to be free . know the depth of death. In a world rampant with hatred we resist hitting back, cry out in frustration: It makes no sense. In the gallery’s light we, the conflicted, speak of darkness as if those who hate are created on a different canvas.
Rwanda by Conrad Geller Mt. Kisco, NY, USA Hard to imagine what there was to fear On such a night, like any other night, Hot, with the heavy air so still it seemed Waiting for mystery or sweet delight. Hard to remember what there was to feel With all the noise, in all the fire and smoke, The holy silence on the following day With which the empty, smoldering streets awoke. Hard to discover what there is to say, Feeling gone, anticipation lost, Hope trivial, while in our hands we hold Only the remants of a holocaust. Copyright, 2005 Conrad Geller 19 Spencer St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 tel:914-666-7105 email: email@example.com
Oh hope! by Bhuwan Thapaliya Nepal Oh hope! Thou secreted peace Or cavernous anguish Is there no nomadic course of elegance That leads away from thee No circuit sage of all the path Descried by cunning men To cringe thee of thy sacred prey Advancing to thy den So give me back to death The death I never feared Except that it deprived of thee and now, by life deprived in my own grave I breathe and estimate its size Its size is all that Hell can guess and all that Heaven was Still own thee Still thou art What surgeons call alive Though slipping -- slipping I perceive The destiny of my destined dreams Copyright 2003 Bhuwan Thapaliya
D ANGER IN THE MIST by Roger Worley , aka The Quill Editor: The Poets' Porch . USA Beneath an upside down, outrageous looking Borba tree, an ancient lion takes refuge from the grueling sun of the African wilderness. As he yawns and brandishes his off-yellow tail, living the life of "Riley"... A hundred miles away other "humanoids" of nature’s domain, attempt to claim the throne of the king by endeavors which are more barbaric than being mutilated by the claws of the dozing king. (C) The Quill 2004
“ "Bilad as Sudan” Arabic for “Land of the Blacks” by Helga Ross Canada Africa, cradle of civilization, uncivilized beyond understanding, cries, bleeds, dies: we humanized do nothing. Blood floods Black Sudan, the drowned great nation; Nubia’s past, Aswan Dam’s foundation. An Islamic tide with no withstanding? Rape and carnage twist Allah’s commanding: Genocide, a tribe’s annihilation! Bony being, bloated belly – Baby! Old-age tiny size, your huge tear-dried eyes plead your plight while we scarce can bear the sight. Yet we see and see tide of refugee we’d stem if we would stop the spurn of sighs; make mankind, not power, not greed, our fight. copyright © Helga Ross 2004
Heaven: The Legend By Carmen Ruggero USA It came to me in a dream, in the instant, between awake and asleep. I saw God’s angels. Saw them spread their golden wings, and soar across the blue, I saw them smiling, their hair flying to the wind, resting on luminous white clouds. I heard their shining voices rise to the Father in heavenly praise; yes Him who created man, and woman to bring forth the fruit of their love. For that’s how He saw eternity: Through human passion, unending, repeating the blessed cycle of life. Then I heard their voices falter, discordant, harsh; I turned to see their faces crumble, their wings a cinder. The heavens darkened, and from the earth below, jet black speared through the clouds. I opened my eyes; it wasn’t a dream. I was in hell, breathing its terror. The faint voice of a child: “Our Father…… please?” And then there was silence. Carmen Ruggero @2004
Western Monkeys by Ian Thorpe , Scotland Copyright, 2004 We hear no evil, see no evil: Its their culture, we do not understand. We beat ourselves with righteous guilt for the evil trade of long dead men yet stand aside, permit the femicide some long held tribal prejudice demands. The hand that rocked the cradle of mankind, the breast that stilled the hungry infant's cries must bear the burden of the grown man's rage and envy of the womb's deep silent power. The knowing man, with beast still deep within knows less than beasts we clamour to despise. From Abraham down through Africa, a journey on a road in time and space has brought us little way along the path that leads to our reunion with the gods. Defile the seed and taint the future breed? Black or white, are we not enough the same. The violated woman never knows what evil dwells within her silent shame. Her cries carry no economic weight. "What can we do, they never help themselves?" As mercy dies Western Monkeys shield our eyes, take refuge in wealth, accept no blame. Copyright 2004, Ian Thorpe
"Soldier Boy" by Griffin Irving , USA Best new show - The Guardian Barefoot boy in army fatigue masquerades as a soldier in random time-lapse tragedy, preparing for his memorable wide spectrum scream and falls again like a feather until the director's cut. Behind closed doors sit the Smiths, the boy's death a dream on their big new screen which they watch from the comfort of their couch - eating ice cream. Griffin Irving Copy right 4-29-4
Africa Dances by David Summers, USA Editor, Hadrosaur Tales She glides around the dance floor, dressed in a resplendent gown of lush forest, sere desert, and luxuriant veldt-land. Africa's gown gives life to an abundance of creatures. Those lions, hyenas, elephants, and even humans, in turn, are Africa. Africa doesn't dance alone. With her are Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas. Tragically, all suffer as the dance proceeds. Like a cancer, certain humans destroy other humans heedless of balance. Unlike a cancer, humans have the power to stop. Humans can choose to pursue quests other than power and money, or they can choose to consume one another until every last one is gone. Either way, Africa and her friends will continue their dance, relieved that the music is, once again, harmonious. -- David Lee Summers Copyright, 2004
Two Hands by Larry Tilander Canada One hand holds a dagger. One hand loosely clutches sand. Two hands, you could not tell apart In one divided land. Two hearts One heart is beating fast. One heart has beat its last. The sand falls from a dusty hand. One life is in the past. One million turn away; don't care: So many in despair. They're strangers in dusty land. There is no profit there. Two hands, one cold and stiffening, The other wet with sweat. Two hands. They should be clasped in love. Don't let the world forget. Copyright, 2004 by Larry A. Tilander
Victim of an African Regime by Susan Cook-Jahme South Africa Cruel eyes of tormentors, Rapturous, unblinking, Festering with hollow insanity Through blood smeared bars Of her padlocked confine. Erratic hours of electrode pain, Torturers wielded clubs and rod-irons, Now intimate with her dampened places, Humid musk of fear ever present, Blanketing, permeating stagnant air. Within the shadows of her soul, She clings to life upon a thread, Belief in her ideal, her country’’s future, Freedom for her fellow man, No longer choked by a despot’’s shroud. Rough hewn, young-old, she sits In bare breasted silence, Carved into an ebony tomb, Pain wracked, proud…… Washed by intermittent time. Whilst mist clad silks Slip softly, silent, Protective…… Over weather worn, broken limbs, Bruised blue in gentle morning light…… Susan Cook-Jahme ©© Copyright 2003
A Torturous Dance by Susan Feather Des Moines, IA USA Not a National Geographic special Not a celebration of tribal life These lines pound a keening verbal Protest of Sudan's genocidal strife. Susan Feather , Copyright, 2004 .
Please Lend Me A Pen by Abdi-Noor Haji Mohammed Somalia A WOMAN WEEPS IN THE SANDY PLAINS OF AFRICA. I WAKE UP BEFORE THE DAY BREAKS I COLLECT WATER, FETCH FIRE WO0D I CLEAN THE POT. I COOK YAMS I HAVE MY SWEAT DRAIN IN THE HEAT I LIT FIRE FROM WITHIN STICKS AS I FAN THE SMOKING EMBERS TEARS OF PAIN FILL MY EYES I HAVE TWO MEN IN MY HUT ONE IS MY LITTLE BABY BOY OUT OF RAPE HE WAS BORN THE OTHER IS A BRUTE. A RAPIST HE KILLED MY BELOVED HUSBAND HE TOOK OVER EVERYTHING WE BELONGED HE MADE ME HIS ILLIGITIMATE WIFE HE IS THE FATHER OF THIS CHILD OH HOW SAD TO SHARE THIS STORY MY SON'S DAD DESTROYED MY LIFE IF I LOOK AT THE BABY I SEE LOVE IF I LOOK AT HIS FATHER I FEEL PAIN IN BETWEEN THESE TWO MARGINS I HAVE A PAGE TO WRITE MEMOIRS PLEASE LEND ME A PEN Copyright, 2004 by Abdi-Noor Haji Mohammed
What is this world that we've so changed! by Emanuel Seafont (New Zealand) What is this world, that we've so changed, Where it's common place, to be estranged. When your wealth in oil, or the value of gold, Determines how your story's told. Where the rich are poor, save, their material things, While millions starve, and their children bring, In search of food and comforting, Is it not for them, that church bells ring? Gilded altars, private pews, Final demands, to pay your dues. And the poor stand in their thousand queues, So we turn away, when they're on the news. It's upsetting this, to see them so, We've worked hard for all we have you know, It's their fault they've nothing more to show, Not ours they've been struck another blow. New hospitals, and health farm trips, Where the rich can go to get new lips, Manicured finger tips, And control their weight with tummy clips. To have the fat sucked from their thighs, Or the bags removed from beneath their eyes, While another peasant child dies, And politicians tell more lies. Build new churches, praise the Lord, The desperate drink from filthy gourds. Not even poets can find the words, As the poor are driven into herds. What is this world that we've so changed, To go through life, and feel short changed. Might it be, that we're all deranged. What is this world that we've so changed? Copyright 2004, by Emmanuel Seafont
Black Mother by Shaun Hul l Indialantic, Florida USA the white of day stains your painted dress the black of night turns razor sharp feet that wear flaming coals…a soul that bleeds outside and in where trees bear crimson fruit as roots full bore hypocrisies drill so deep to dig her earth…still plough the surface clinging vines of apartheid how much she suffers…raped and ravaged again and again strijdom…malan…verwoerd names that stain her southern land g7 dead zones from 48 and cape town clearings with sharpeville apologies still segregate now die…and die…and die let us awake by fate arise her friends of earth minstrels of life to cast a new play we sing for the future we move for the past to turn now in loves instance an old face anew name an old shadow anew form seeds to grow into who she is whom she shall be white sister…black brother white father…black mother African Heart South African Soul ©shaunhull-a.r.r., 2005 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.soundclick.com/shaunhull