Homage to Homs

Homage to Homs

A Poem by riskrapper
"

Homage to the besieged city of Homs Syria, its people, victims and survivors.

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1.


From our
safe windows,
we crane our necks,
rubbernecking
past the slow
motion wreckage
unfolding in Homs.

We remain
perfectly
perched
to marvel at
the elegant arc of
a mortar shell
framing tomorrows
deep horizon,
whistling through
the twilight to
find its fruitful
mark.

In the now
we keep
complicit time,
to the arrest
of beating hearts,
snapping fingers
to the pop
of rifle cracks,
swooning to
the delicious
intoxication of
curling smoke
lofting ever
upward;
yet
thankfully
remain
distant
enough to
recuse any
possibility
of an
intimate
nexus
with the
besieged.



2.

From our
safe windows,
we behold the
urgent arrivals of
The Friends of Syria
demanding
clean sheets
and 4 Star
room service at a
Tunisian Palace
recently cleaned
and under new
management
promising a
much needed
refurbishment.

The gathered,
a clique of
this epochs
movers and shakers,
a veritable
rouges gallery of
ambassadorial
prelates, Emirs and
state department
bureaucrats
summoned
with portfolio
from the
darkest corners
of the globe.

They are
eager to
sanctify
the misery of
Homs,
deflect and
lay blame
with realpolitik
rationalizations,
commencing
official commissions
of inquiry,
deliberating
grave considerations,
issuing indictments
of formal charges for
Crimes Against
Humanity
while
remaining
urgently
engrossed
in the fascination
of interviewing
potential
process servers
to deliver the bad news
to Bashar al-Assad
and his soulless
Baathist
confederates,
if papers
are to
be
served.

Yes, the diplomats
are busy meeting
in closed rooms.

In hushed circles
they whisper
into aroused ears,
railing against
Russia’s
gun running
intransigence
and China’s
geopolitical
chess moves.

Statesmen
boast of the
intrepid justice
of tipping points
and the moving poetry
of self serving tales,
weighing the impact
of stern sanctions
amidst the historical
confusion of the
asymmetrical
symmetries
of civil war.

Caravans
of Arab League
envoys roll up
in silver Bentleys,
crossing deserts
of contradictory
obfuscations,
navigating the
endless dunes
with hand held
sextants of
hidden agendas.

The heroic
Bedouins are
eager to offload
their baggage
and share
on the ground
intelligence from
their recent soirées
across Syria.

They beg
a quick fix,
the triage of a
critical catharsis
to bleed their
brains dry
of heinous
recollections,
pleading
release from a
troubled conscience
victimized by
the unnerving paradox of
reconciling the discoveries
of perverse voyeurism
with sanctioned explanations
of their respective
ruling elites.

The bellies
of these
scopophiliacs
are distended;
grown queasy
from a steady diet
of malfeasance
an ulcerated
world parades
in continuous loop;
spewing the raw feeds
of real time misery;
forcibly fed
the grim
visions of
frantic
fathers
rushing
the mangled
carcases
of mortally
wounded
children
to crumpled
piles of smashed
concrete that were
once hospitals.

We
despondently
ask how
much longer
must we
look into
the eyes
of starving
children
emaciated from
the wanton
indifference
of the world?


3.

From our
safe windows
we wonder
how much
longer can
the urgent
burning
ambivalence
continue
before it
consumes
our common
humanity in
a final
conflagration?

My hair already
singed by the
endless firestorms
sweeping the prairies
of the world.

How can we survive
the trampling hoards,
the marauding
plagues of acrimony
fed by a voracious
blood lust aspiring
to victimize the
people of Homs
and a thousand cities
like it?


4.

From my safe
window I stand in witness
to the state execution of
refugees fleeing the
living nightmare
of Baba Amr.

The murder of innocents,
today's newly minted martyrs,
women and children
cornered, trapped
on treacherous roads,
mercilessly
slaughtered and
defiled in death
to mark the lesson
of a ruthless master
enthralled with the
power of his
sadistic fascist
lordship.

I cannot avert my eyes
marking sights
of pleading women
begging for the
lives of their children
in exchange for
the gratification
of a sadists
lust.

My heart
is impaled
on the sharp
spear of
outrage
beholding
careening
children mowed
down with the
serrated blades
protruding from
marauding jeeps of
laughing soldiers.

I drop
to my knees
in lakes of
tears
reflecting
a grotesque
horror stricken
image of myself.

My eyes have
murdered my soul.

The ghastly images
of Homs have chased
away my Holy Ghost
to the safety of a child's
sandbox hidden away
in a long forgotten
revered memory.


5.

From my safe window
I seethe with anger
demanding vengeance
debating how to rise
to meet the obscenity of
the Butcher of Damascus.

The sword of Damocles
dangles so tantalizingly close
to this tyrants throat.  

The covered women
of Homs scream prayers
“may Allah bring Bashar to ruin”

Dare I pray
that Allah trip the
horsehair trigger
that holds the
sword at bay?

Do I pick up
the sword
a wield it
as an
avenging
angel?

Am I the
John Brown
of our time?

Do I organize
a Lincoln Brigade
and join the growing
leagues of jihadists
amassing at the
Gates of Damascus?

Will my righteous
indignation fit well
in a confederacy
with Hamas and
al-Qaeda as
comrades in arms?

Do I succumb to
the passion of hate
and become just
another murderous
partisan, or do I
commend the power
of love and marshal
truth to speak with
the force of
satyagraha?

I lift a fervent prayer
to claim the justice
of Allah’s ear,

“may the knowing one
lift the veil of foolishness
that covers my heart in
cloaks of resent, cure
my blindness that ignores
my raging disease of
plausible deniability
ravaging the
body politic
of humanity.

Help me to
be mindful
to recognize
the humanity
of all your children.

Help me
to remember
that all children
are my children"

Selah


6.

Indeed,
physician heal thyself.

I run to embrace
my illness.

I pine to
understand it.

I undertake the
difficult regimen
of a cure
to eradicate
the terrible
affliction.

This
pernicious
plague,
subverting
the notion
of a shared
humanness
is a cunning
sedition that
undermines
the unity of
the holy spirit.  

The bells
clang from
toppled steeples
of dead religions
still tolling for
people of faith,
echoing
across
the space of
continents
and eons
of temporal time.

The faithful chimes
hammers a message
to remove the wedge
of perception that
separates, divides
and undermines.

Time has come
to liberally
apply the balm
that salves the
open wounds
so common to
our common
human condition.

The power of prayer
is the joining of hands
with others racked
with the common
affliction of humanness.

Denying the humanity in others
only succeeds in dehumanizing myself.

Allah,  
My eyes are wide open,
my sacred heart revealed,
my sleeves are rolled up,
my memory is stocked
my soul filled with resolve,
my hand is lifted
extended to all
brothers and sisters.
Lift us,
gather us
into one
loving embrace.

Selah


7.

From the safe
windows of
our palaces
we live within
earshot of
the trilling
zaghroutas
of exasperation
flowing from
the besieged
city smoldering
under Bashar’s
symphony of terror.

Our nostrils
fill with the
acrid plumes
of unrequited
lamentations
lifting from the
the burning
destruction
of shelled
buildings.

Our eyes spark
from the night
tracers
of sleeking
snipers
flitting along
the city’s
rooftops.

The deadly jinn
indiscriminately
inject the
paralysis of
random fear
into the veins
of the city
with each
skillful
head shot.

These
ghoulish
assassins
lavish in their
macabre work;
like vultures
they eagerly
feast on the
corpses of their kill,
the stench of bloated
bodies drying in the
sun is the perfume
that fills their nostrils.


8.

From our
safe window
we discern the
silhouettes of militants
still boldly standing
amidst the
mounting rubble
of an unbowed
Homs
shouting;

Allah Akbar!!!
Allah Akbar!!!
Allah Akbar!!!

raising
pumped fists,
singing songs
of resistance,
dancing to
the revelation of
freedom,
refusing to
be coward by
the slashing
whips of a
butchers
terrible
sword.


9.

From my
safe window
my tongue laps
the pap
of infants
suckling from
the depleted
teats of mothers
who cannot cry
for their dying
children;
tears fail
to well from
the exhaustion
of dehydrated
pools.


10.

From my
safe window
my heart stirs
to the muezzin
calling the
desperate faithful
from the toppled
rubble of dashed
minarets.

We can
no longer
shut our ears
to the adhan
of screams
the silent
voices that echo
the blatant injustice
of a people under siege.


11.

From my
safe window,
I pay
Homage to Homs
and call brothers
and sisters to rise
with vigilant
insistence
that hostilities
cease and
humanity be
upheld,
respected and
protected.


12.

From my safe
window
I perceive
the zagroutas
of sorrow
manifest as a
whiling hum,
a sweeping
blue mist,
levitating
the coffins
from the rubble
of ravaged streets.

The swirling
chorus of
mourning
joins my
desperate
prayers;
rising in
concert
with the
black billows
of smoke
dancing
away
from the
flaming
embers
of scorched
neighborhoods.


13.

From my
safe window
I heed
the fluttering
wings
of avenging
angels
furiously
batting
as they
climb
the black
plumes,
lifting from
the scattered
bricks
of the
desecrated
city.

It is the
Jacob’s
Ladder
for our
time;
marking
a new
consecrated
place
where
a New Adam
is destined
to be formed
from the
pulverized
stones of
desolation.


14.

From our
safe windows
we peer into
resplendent
mirrors
beholding
a perfect image
of ourselves
eying
falling tears
of dripping blood,
coloring death
onto the
blanched sheets
of disheveled beds.


15.

From our
safe windows
our voices are silenced,
our words mock urgency
our thoughts betray comprehension
our senses fail to illicit empathy
our action is the only worthy prayer


16.

From my
safe window
I hear the
mortar shells
walking toward
my palace,
the crack
of a sniper shot
precedes
the wiz of a
passing bullet
whispering
its presence
into my
waxen
ear.


17.

From my
safe window,
my palms scoop
the rich soil
of the flower boxes
perched on my sill.
I anoint the tender
green shoots of  the
Arab Spring
with an incessant flow
of bittersweet tears.


Music Selection:
John Coltrane
A Love Supreme
Acknowledgment

Oakland
2/28/12
jbm

© 2012 riskrapper



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A good poem about an awful situation, a poem full of concern and passion, and a call for the end of the terrible suffering that is taking place. A poem full of courage and wisdom.

Posted 5 Years Ago


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Eve
One wonders how much one can see of such things and still remain a simple witness for Allah, the hardest thing to do is to merely be a humble witness unto the Lord when the attrocities of human kind boil our blood when our own humanity demands action...this is your test, this is your burden and mine, let us link our hands across the world in silent prayer for our innocents, for only love can shelter from what must eventually come to pass.

Posted 5 Years Ago


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. i don't know if you are familiar with urdu ... but i'd written about devastation once ... and said ... "kyun fitrat mein tere nahin maula insaaniyat ka fitur?" ... it's difficult for me to translate this ... so, i'm hoping you know urdu ... but please do let me know if you're not ...

. there is nothing more devastating than devastation and to watch silently is almost as heartbreaking as being devastated ... one wonders what one's purpose is ... one wonders about what one can do ... i won't say that i am a thorough gandhian ... but i do believe that satyagraha is a powerful tool ... and you have done justice to it ... by writing this amazingly beautiful piece of writing that gives a voice to those who cannot speak ...

. i was looking for a purpose ... i live in isolation and there's not much i can do except type ... and i found a way to make my words count to those who cannot speak ... while history was in the process of being made ... i started writing for a blog that critiques an indian cult ... it is a tiny revolution in the world ... but participating there made me realize that there is something more substantial out there for me to do ... that blog is read by more than thousand people each day ... people who are discovering the meaning of humanity after being subjected to severe spiritual abuse ... they have a need for words ... they have a need for the solace that i can send them ... i realize that i am no spectacular human being who can change the world ... and i feel incredibly humbled that i have a small role to play in helping victims of abuse ... those who have been abused in the name of religion and spiritual growth ... it is so empowering to play this role ... suddenly it is as if my life matters ... it is as if my words have a purpose ... this is the best that i can do at this time ... and i am doing so ... and i can sleep peacefully at night ...

. thank you for this phenomenal piece of writing that reaches my soul ... i learnt a lot from you today, dear poet ...

Posted 5 Years Ago


this piece opens into immediate genius, referring to televisions, and what i translate to be the western utilization of media, as "safe windows". the picture of the exasperated children is poignant. not the typical image one would, at first, think to utilize, but it fits well. as the chapters ensue, the image of the safe window provides a check-in of structural consistency to contrast the images of turmoil reported. this is the ultimate genius of this speaker that has translated so grippingly from this fully actualized poet and witness. the paradox, the measurement of privileged against pauper, elite against depleted, in a striking imagistic format that has it feeling like i am watching a feed of uncensored images from my ridiculously ironic safety. of course the final stanza has me, as the reader, gripped with the question, is there really nothing i can do about this irony? perhaps permitting myself to witness the presence of that irony in full, through annihilating poetry such as this, is enough for me to pay homage to such atrocities? then, we are recommended Coltrane. this is a multimedia masterpiece of bearing witness, beautifully written, and forcefully told.

Posted 5 Years Ago



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344 Views
4 Reviews
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Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on May 7, 2012
Last Updated on May 7, 2012
Tags: Homs, Syria, Baba Amr, war crimes, civil war