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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

God's Creatures

Those amongst us,
the godly ant-steppers,
watching the life wriggle
out of an ant…

Those within,
the god-deniers,
sucking the shock out of bewildered eyes
at something different…,
oblivious of screaming antennas…

In someone’s pockets,
from holes of boredom,
trickle the ants, tired and struggling.

Theirs is a life,
granted by God,
ignorant of pious killers
and ardent atheists…

Theirs is a faith,
no godly worshipper will ever know,
a way,
a non-believer dreams to attain…
in vain.

Those precious ants…amongst us.

My Silent Smile

My silent expressions
underneath these merciless skies,

Eyes, steadfast in their shock
and smiles of wonder at the unknown you carry
in your pale Western hands...

Eyes, fixated on a camera lens
staring at your expectations of my surrendering a story,
and yet nothing comes.

But the blood on the street tells it
and the bodies torn apart,
struggling to release their inner selves...
Their faces, expressionless...

Friends of enemies,
strangers with elongated machines
balanced on strong shoulders...

Maybe you will tell the world at large
my silent story.

My silent horror witnessed,
faster than the speed of light through your camera lens,
stripping me of all sense.

Senseless now I am.

That half erect house you see
had a kitchen.
The meat on the charred table... is my brother…

The hallows of my father’s car over there
had known fine days of sun on the way to school.
He’d puff a smile through the rearview mirror at my eager eyes
above dog-eared books…

The smoke you see now
through the remains of its structure
is only because…
those skies up there will only talk war.

That infant in the swaddle
could not talk either,
when your guns did the words for his small aspirations…

You tore my brothers limbs to shreds
his rarest fetal nightmares never told him…

But I...I can still struggle in the face of your camera
and try to tell you my story.

You see you had smiled,
and in my culture I must smile back...

Even if you intend to kill me with that long gun… to call a camera...


Before the sun sets on the other world
Minutes accumulate on my cell phone
Pleading reassurance
That all are alive
And I am missed, by some

Before the sun sets on the other world,
The words reach out to grasp the warmth
Of the going rays
In ways
Only the East can spell

Minutes and time zones
Love disperses amongst the lines of
Missed emotions
And longing

Fingers betray the anguish
As phone handles quiver in their grasp

One last word, Mama
Hear me
I love you.
Did you know that, recently?

And who’s home and who has broken their fast and prayed for me?
And who missed the last car bomb and made it to the Iftar table?
Who smiled at God’s food and then shed a tear for all the empty tables?

Minutes are money…the corporations know and say that…
For them, the wars and the empty dishes…
For them, we work on working your future Iftars to ashes...

Was that my brother’s voice behind you?
Does he remember my name?
I have changed…but not my name…

Names are constant
Love is constant and so is sibling tension
Cell phone minutes are not.

Tell him I love him.
I have a minute to tell him I love him.
I have all the minutes the corporate world can steal
to hear him tell me
He loves me.


I am the cause
I am its blood and checkpoint tolerance

I am the refugee tents in tatters
I am the soiled headless doll
in that ditch
where your made-in-the-US missile fell

I am the cross of Nativity
I am the bell toller
shot to death
I am the muezzin
whose voice was sniped
I am the holes in
the prayer rug
your machine gun shattered

I am the cause
I am the broken rooms in your bulldozer
I am the eyes you want to blind
I am the history
that will rise again

I am the cause
I am the ship that floats in hope
I am the sails that blow you away
I am the harbor you’ll never know
in my homeland

I am the cause