Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Terrible Day

Often I scan the news and let it roll over me. I add the daily count of deaths in the Middle East, be it Syria, Egypt, Iraq or elsewhere to my cringe-reaction. Everyone of those deaths was a  person fighting for what he or she believed ... well, not every one, some were by standers, people simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (as when a bomb went off  in a market place), all had mothers, fathers, loved or loving ones who were shocked into grief.  It's hard for me to think about it. 

I read about trials and verdicts, about police brutality and various kinds of injustice in our country. My cringe reaction works a little harder -- so much of what I think we believe is not what our country does, not how our elected officials and justice system are supposed to work. 

While I am cringing, an American woman who I've come to know through the internet, someone with whom I share many interests and values, who lives in Sweden -- a country with a different political attitude -- is aware and not self-defensively cringing.  She is feeling and reacting to these same headlines.  Arlene Corwin writes poetry like many of us drink coffee -- daily, satisfying a need she has to express herself and to help herself face the world as it is. 

A long introduction to a moving poem she has given me permission to print here:

This Is A Terrible Day.

This is a terrible day.
Outrageous day.
Over thirteen hundred murdered:
Women,
Men
And children
In
A gas
Attack in Syria
Whose rulers say “Not us!”

Then there’s Bradley Manning
Who leaked
Military secrets like:
“let’s get ‘em, kill ‘em all” the …
Or words to that effect. 
For that
He’ll suffer thirty-five years
In a prison. Here
In Sweden he’d have got
Six months, a cell phone, and a lot
Of loving letters.

Speaking of which,
Swedish citizens are going sick;
Taking billions from the taxes
To recover (or do something)
From the new bipolarist depressions ups and downs;
Stress related illnesses that do not end in ouch.
Taxes taken
From the healthy watching TV on the couch
To pay the weakened on a couch
Without a cure in sight.

But worst is loss of life.
The Mozarts, Rembrandts, who’d have been
Now dead without a fight. 

This is a terrifying day.

This Is A Terrible Day 8.22.2013

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- I read this and I too cringe. But I feel it will get worst if we get involved in strikes against Syria. I feel like this is a repeat of the many actions that we get ourselves into and never learn any lessons. Isn't there better solutions? ~~ barbara

June Calender said...

How many people have to die at the hands of tyrants before the world -- not just the US -- rises up and says, Enough! Is there a solution at all?