Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)







Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PLEASE, LOOK DOWN, FAIR MOON



So many mother's babies have been lost in recent weeks, the result of horrifying warring. I was compelled to write a poem at the time of the deaths of three innocent boys, hitching a ride home from school. This piece was part of a challenge from Robert Lee Brewer, Writer's Digest poetry editor. Since it was entered in a poetry contest, I wasn't able to post it to my site but here it is, in its entirety, in memory of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16 and Gilad Shaar, 16 and all the children and their families, lost in senseless battle, West of Jordan.


Using the form of a Golden Shovel poem, the writer must take another poem and using each word in that line or poem as an end word of their own piece. Once completed, the original poem is revealed by reading the final words of each line of the new creation. I used the Walt Whitman poem LOOK DOWN, FAIR MOON, which was an homage to young men killed during the American Civil War. According to one analysis [certain battles would drag on for many days at a time. As a result of this, oftentimes corpses had to be left where they fell on the battle field due to a lack of ability to go back and pick them up. The author of this analysis believes that this poem is based upon Whitman's plea for the moon to look down on such battlefields and clean and purify the bodies of the wounded.]



PLEASE, LOOK DOWN, FAIR MOON


Let’s say you don’t like the way these boys dress or look

Or perhaps you, helplessly, down

To your own calcified beliefs, have trouble being fair

In a world, under the same moon.

Maybe you see our children differently and

You’re not interested in how we bathe

These bloody issues, be they Israeli or Palestinian in this

Complicated and hard to be neutral scene.

Imagine the tears of three mothers and how they did pour

With aunts, grandmothers, friends and softly

Spoken young girls, all falling down

On knees with incalculable sorrow in the night’s

Mourning, a glow of love and grief like a dimmed nimbus

Like nothing you have ever, ever known, the floods

Of untold loss, without relying on

Memories of sweet babyish faces

That now, after sharing ten silent bullets, are left ghastly,

Found in an open area close to Hebron, swollen,

Left in a field in the West Bank; cheeks, hands, lips purple

These mother’s babies missing. Two. Weeks. Don’t tell me it’s not on

Your mind what had to be acknowledged in the

Cold bright room where they identify the dead;

Does it matter to what god they prayed? on

What day of the week? or the food on their

Breakfast plate? … now that they lay on stiffened backs,

What if it was your boy who died there with

His school friends, last seen at the hitchhiking point in Gush Etzion with their

Book bags over shoulders, dangling arms

About each other, cares toss’d

To the wind, with hearts opened wide,

Not knowing what fate was about to pour

Upon them from heavens and hells that have been turned up side down

While you were watching the five o clock news in your

Cozy home surrounded by family and the wealth of unstinted

Peace and security. Your borders are tight and the nimbus

Of tranquility makes you believe your circle is sacred

And your children are safe under that same moon.

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Thank you for reading.

1 comment:

  1. t is tragic when anyone dies at the hands of someone else whether it be in this conflict, a public shooting, domestic violence, etc, but the death of children/Teenagers is always the worst to me. They could have had many year ahead of them yet and it ended in a terrible way. School shootings are also disheartening.

    Though poems and stories about these events are hard to read they need to be written. You've done an excellent job.

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