POETRY FORMAT, 16 Jun 2014
I suppose there was looting in 331 B. C.
when Alexander the Great “liberated” Babylon.
They are at it again, but Rumsfeld reminds us
that war is not “tidy,”
as if we thought it were,
and reassures us that reports
of looting in Baghdad
The National Museum has been emptied
and elsewhere they have made off with
computers, a horse, a bus
and Omar’s welding tools,
leaving him to wonder how to make a living,
and where 7000 years of civilization
have been scattered.
Ali Ismaeel Abbas, age 10, has lost his arms,
a hospital has lost its beds,
our president has lost his soul,
and I have lost faith in my country.
What shall it profit a conqueror
if the heaven he seeks is filled with smoke,
the land with rubble,
his veins with oil,
and his dreams with corpses?
Can dollars reconstruct all this—
buy Omar new tools,
give Ali new arms and
replace his haunted dreams
with TV sitcoms,
turn the National Museum into a Kmart,
and create the illusion we care?
Sand is blowing across the plains,
sifting into every crevice,
clogging the valves of our hearts…
and Saladin is on his way.
Tom Greening: “I engage in five professional activities:
Faculty Member at Saybrook University
Private Practice of Psychotherapy
Clinical Professor of Psychology, UCLA
International Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 16 Jun 2014.
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