Poem: Despair & Disbelief

February 9, 2024
two sister's bodies wrapped in cloth
The bodies of two sisters killed in Israel's war on Gaza. Source: @NourNaim88/X


Despair & Disbelief

You can’t help wondering

why the question about cruelty as a priority

of brave men called leaders

of arms industries, governments

and finance corporations

is never posed.


You can’t help wondering

why bestiality is considered

only a preserve of an animal universe

and never enters the thoughts

of brave men called leaders

who cross their chests for human rights.


You can’t help wondering

why history is forgotten

so that only one group of terrorists

are blamed by democratic leaders

armed with guns and righteousness

justifying their brand of punishment.


I am incredulous

that discrimination can be called democratic, 

that indiscriminate slaughter

is varnished as targeted killings,

that hostages might be rescued

by the same violence that led to their capture.


I am disbelieving

that sentiments for humanity

are treated like ornaments from an op shop

décor that will not disturb

the murderous goals of those intent

on opposing the next ceasefire resolution.


I am despairing

that slaughter of thousands of women and children

is staged as theatre 

for brave men to wage and watch

because their minds cannot escape

the racism that carves an identity

parceled and publicized by media

who also know no other way of thinking.


I despair that a cancer spreads,

that drugs and surgery cannot be used because

exceptional countries are so above the law

that no-one intervenes, genocide continues,

ambulances are forbidden to collect the dying

and my despair cannot be lessened

by protesting in an article

or even by writing this poem.


[In response to months of genocide in Gaza and the West Bank.

Written in Vincentia NSW, January 31, 2024.]

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