November 14th, 2015


Inadequate but what can you do or say?

PARIS 13/11

There is a dance that people play with knives.
A circle forms. One cuts another's throat.
Whose cut whose turn. The sweet squeal of the stoat
teeth in a fieldmouse. It's the end of lives

of peace and charm. It has its own high step.
Boot click against the floor. We know the tune
Fiddled by Mr Bones. We'll hear it soon
Crusader dance to it HEP HEP HEP HEP.

All we can do is sleep to numb the pain
Dream of the small canal, an autumn kiss.
The city of my heart has come to this.
It happens now. It happens soon. Again.

Love one another. We knew this for years.
Embrace no harm feed hungry dry all tears.

Another 1311 poem


Our skeleton remembers every blow.
Each trauma lines our teeth with fine dark rings
Our mother's pain deep in our blood vein sings
Our skull holds knowledge that we cannot know

Yet feel deep rooted as a tooth that throbs
or wind that twists an air knife in our gut.
Throat razor slash turns to a paper cut.
Old memory returned in dreams that robs

us of our sleep. Forgotten when we wake
save for the pain that haunts us long past dawn
the slamming doors of ivory and horns
so hard they almost splinter. And this ache

persists. Cannot escape. Hurts us to blind
we cannot kiss it better, but be kind.

People have called for us to write about Beirut


How mourn not knowing how the spice oil smell
crates between stalls meat hanging fresh baked rolls
the crowded bus exhaust walls peppered with small holes
posters I could not read? This man, Adel

made a decision that I could not make
sure knowing both he and his child were dead
saw guessed planned weighed a second in his head
Heard detonation saw a window break

glass splinters in the air. Saw at his side
another man with death sewn in his vest
prayed quickly for them both to find the best
threw the man down was blasted daughter died

so many others lived. My words are weak
beside the witness. See her tears her shriek.