Not a Green and Pleasant Land

aleppo.jpg

And on that green hill far away,
a city cries its loose, parched, grey stone;
it drizzles beside wizened honeysuckle
and yellowing foliage – unkempt and sprawling –
an analogous mass too decimated to be held
or remembered – it is in shock, in brutal denial,
in the middle of it all.
There was once a sight most beautiful,
a sight to please us all.
What was that stuff, that sense, that will
that lead us once to glory? Where is the light
that died in us – or so says an ancient story?

Atavistic shadows seek turmoil and unrest;
we dare not speak the words that once
were given. Smothered from head to toe;
blood cursed eyes are set aglow – victims
inside the garb of spirituality, are hiding in cities
without walls –  neither in or out – nothing to see
especially mustard gas and myriad chemical
weapons afloat on unsuspecting air and its people;
there are no alarm bells and it escapes bloody knuckles
when it comes knocking, penetrating ghostly,
invisible arms which have no means to protect
or barricade against evil and war’s hunger.

Screams run freely when children run from the crumbs
that are side streets, but there is nowhere to hide;
shells have no ceilings, inside there are no walls –
dead bodies lie neither in or out – death doesn’t know about
cement, or boundaries, nor does it know about peace
or a suffocating child’s burning eyes, innocence,
a parent praying for death, or politics or religion,
or…whatever it is we are allowing inside of these
non existent walls and… outside of them.

 

14 Million Children (Tetractys)

syria

14 Million Children Suffering as Result of War in Syria and Iraq, and surrounding areas Unicef Says.

hush
a cry
lullaby
morbid songs choke
butterflies asleep in dust of cocoons.

Pain
a sigh
fist to sky
streaks of skin
blemished by nightmares, deep scars of anger.

Tetractys, a poetry form invented by Ray Stebbing, consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20).

War Baby

Another contribution from me to the Poets for Peace initiative.  If you would like to take part you have until end of this month.  Your efforts would be most appreciated.

***Future and previous contributors are asked to email mzanemcclellan@outlook.com giving permission along with name/url/location/ if you would like to be included in Praxis magazine. Please pass this message if you can.***

Children_In_iraq-iran_war4

Two World Wars and Counting …
In World War One less than five per cent of the casualties were civilians – with today’s conflicts and wars the figure is nearer 75%.

War baby –
once a bundle of mixed acquaintance,
temporary, hurried, desperate -joy.
Love ceased when war began.

War baby –
is war; a disfigured bundle no one wants to heal;
permanent, scarred, tragic.
Lives ending as many wars begin.

War baby –
his bloodlust flows within blood –
conflicts- hostilities-civil war- religion- politics
all given more oxygen than its victims.

Peace baby –
wants to stitch together old wounds
extremism-radical eyes-terrorism-fear –
gaping sores, rancid hopes, let clean air help them heal.

Peace baby –
tries to broker for change in the dust and rubble
but cherubs still cry beyond wire mesh –
gods and people are tired, and YOU are not worthy.