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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Three Dead Fingers

The dead don't care
Whether death came from a firing squad
Or from the air.
 
The dying don't care
Whether their enemies are religious
Or mindlessly shooting targets from a drone
 
The dead don't care
Whether the bombs that killed them:
Are stamped "made in the USA,"
"Russia,"
Home Grown,
Or made in China.
 
This old game
Is neither fun
nor Good for anyone
Or the least bit fair.
 
I hear the old ones
The fat, gray haired ones
In stuffed shirts,
Wearing uniform ties
and gray coats
Presenting their bombs in brief cases
As footnotes in floods of paper
Drowning the dead in words.
 
In rhetoric
About fanatic religion
And rebels
And no fly zones.
Pontificating
and pointing fingers
At each other
 
Like bombs of misunderstanding
Or wands of curses and imprecations
 
As if those words were the jet planes
RPGs and drones,
Rocks being thrown
Delivering up death.
 
They point
As if they were speaking spells
and they weren't all of them liars
And guilty instead.
Each revealing his own guilt
With three fingers.
 
These old Greybacks
Hominid standing gorillas
Send children to fight their battles
While playing at rhetoric
And objectifying the dead.
The dead are ISIL and rebels
Are Shia and Sunna
Yazidi, Christian and Jews
Tossed in makeshift trenches
In ecumenical horror
With lime thrown in to reduce the stench.
 
All the While the greybacks pontificate from the bench
And partisans rant and rage
At who is at fault
and who built this cage?
That is tearing people apart
And throwing the pieces in graves
Where they bury their own pretenses
To civilization.
Remember the three fingered thing
When you point.
 
Bombs of misdirection
Lies piled upon lies
And meaningless facts
Piled in manilla stacks
On bureaucratic tables!
 
Pooh pooh, the food won't reach you
We bombed the convoy
So your benefactors can number among the dead!
We send you our bureaucratic condolences instead!
Our cordon will kill the rebels
And their families, children, relatives, neighbors, friends
And enemies
In deadly efficiency
 
The machine of war has been unleashed
In all its efficient confusion
Assumptions leading to contusions
Well meaning horror
Generating even more misery
As folks use bullets to stop bullets
And bombs to stop bombs.
 
How much better to escalate?
Than to build mountains
Of mindless hate?
"I want revenge because I am scared of you."
And you want revenge on me too!
We have harmed one another
What else can we do?
We fight near magiddo
Yet another Armageddon!
And centuries of antichrists
 
3 fingers accuse me too.
And my ancestors.
We survive on grace
In hopes of atonement
But not merit.
 
The dead can't point fingers
Only the living can do that
Their fingers have been severed
And tossed in trenches
By guilty survivors
Who will point at one another
And say
"This is your fault"
That they were buried to day
 
And the three fingered principle
Says yes it is ours
 
I can only look on in horror
As once again mixed intentions
Spin out in insanity.
The Accuser does his job
Hoping someone will stop him
The Satan is a prosecutor doing his job
With a jury of angels
None of us humans can lie to.
It is just facts.
Bones in the ground
That tell a story of injury and fear
Hunger and privation
And cannibal violence done by man
Human graybacks mindlessly fighting
Over resources and power
Using fear.
 
The dead don't accuse us
But their spirits do
Each was a person
Not a skeleton
A friend maybe
Or a lover
Someone to get to know
Objectified in death
 
Only the suffering is left
In echos and waves of hurt and fear
In us, their relations.
That three fingered thing
Is also our hope for salvation.
 
When we no longer feel
For what we have done
We are numb
And we are dying.
 
It is the living who suffer
And we are fools
Because we see these things
Time and again
Yet we keep pointing at ourselves
Instead of pointing all our fingers
In outstretched hands
And clearing the rubble.

 

Christopher H. Holte

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