Becoming 89

POETRY FORMAT, 18 Nov 2019

Richard Falk | Global Justice in the 21st Century – TRANSCEND Media Service

— Istanbul, 13 Nov 2019 [From TMS editor: Richard was born on 13 Nov 1930]

Somehow as the sun sets
The thrill of being alive startles

Is it love alone
Or your starlit smile

The play of Istanbul
The enchantment of kediler

This thrill of life persists
Despite the world

Despite unimaginable
And hideous atrocities

We must not avert our eyes
Or escape to the suburbs of the mind

The faith of this hour
Is anxious patience

Panic prescribed as sanity
‘Thanks Greta’

Remember to observe bravery
Along the Gaza fence

Remember refugees
Human and desperate

And those killed and maimed
Because their skin is darker

Or their god(s) differ
Despite being the same

Then and only then
Succumb to flowers and maidens

Only then visit forests
To bless magical animals

While living and dying
Keep your gaze, affirm

This impossible faith
By smiles, by tears

This forever fervor
Keeping birthdays precious

To be old and engaged
Is to be truly young

To be old and enraged
Is to be truly young

To affirm the affirmable
And fight the abominable

Is to be truly young
Great fortune at 89


Richard Falk is a member of the TRANSCEND Network, an international relations scholar, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, Distinguished Research Fellow, Orfalea Center of Global Studies, UCSB, author, co-author or editor of 40 books, and a speaker and activist on world affairs. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to a six-year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.” Since 2002 he has lived in Santa Barbara, California, and taught at the local campus of the University of California in Global and International Studies, and since 2005 chaired the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His most recent book is Achieving Human Rights (2009).

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