Reaching 90 in 2020

POETRY FORMAT, 16 Nov 2020

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

A year darkly memorable

Months before the pandemic

Before George Floyd’s martyrdom

Trump stalking the ramparts

Issuing cowardly murder decrees

While I mourn each monstrous death

Among the vultures

The bodies started piling up soon after

The new year’s welcoming bells

Three days later

All iran mourned Qasem Soleimani’s death

Murdered by drone—his crime: seeking peace

A toxic reckoning an omen

From a toxic White House

The start of this toxic time

And yet

Breathing clean air

In Yalikavak

Inhaling the love

Of those I love and cherish

Makes me believe

Being alive being not alone at 90

Is sacred a dwelling

Among now reticent gods

True darkness descends

Midday on earth

For iconic deaths

Angels are weeping

For children for lost love

For Soleimani for Floyd

For magnificent animals

Plundered for fun for gain

Imprisoned as jungles empty

True lords of our earth

While whales wander with wonder

Dethroned sovereigns of the seas

At 90 amid the joy of being

A judgment haunts me

Reached by a black woman poet

‘We were never meant to survive.’


Yalikavak, Turkey

November 13, 2030


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 60 books, and a speaker and activist on world affairs. In 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Falk to two three-year terms 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 associated with the local campus of the University of California, and for several years chaired the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. His most recent book is On Nuclear Weapons, Denuclearization, Demilitarization, and Disarmament (2019).

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