Justify

I.

We have grown numb

Day after day

Self-same reports of far-off atrocities

No longer catch our

Attention. No longer

Interest us.

What are they saying?

It is the same

Nothing changes but the clink, ka-ching

Of a few more dollars in

The pockets of a few columnists

And the groans of a round dozen Brazilian giants

As they topple on trampled forest floors.

Do they really think they know

So much that they can explain

It all; Justify the loss

Of countless lives with keystrokes and

Intangibles—freedom, liberty, will?

If that is true

Words have grown cheaper than

Even what the karung-guni pays us

Even what the market stalls use to

Wrap their goods in.

Such is the human legacy

One flash against the backdrop

Of terrible thunder-lizards;

One ink-blot on

The thousand-paged tome of time.

Yet inkblots are such that

Their actions may stain and wreak

Destruction

Decades into the next page.

What does it matter anyway

"There is no spoon";

There might as well be

No "us".

Such is the grace of the human heart

That it might be blinded by

Dreams, ambition, visions—

all false. What grace?—a farce.

Fallujah, Iraq, Vietnam, Russia

Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Syo-nanto

Pearl Harbor, Ireland, Gaul, Rome

America, Israel, Chechen, Germany.

Justify them.

II.

Justify the blood that stains

A mother's face as she

holds the ravaged body

of her broken son

Justify the bodies

Which will never find their way home

They are no more than decaying flesh:

Yet they are more.

More.

Justify that.

Don't try to tell me that it is

A war against terror.

We will not be hoodwinked

Any longer.

Two wrongs do not make

A right; two wars, or seven

Or a hundred

Nevertheless do not make

Peace.

You are wreaking terror, striking fear

Into the hearts of the people

You have taken away their

Peace, their livelihood, their

Day-to-day familiarity, their lives.

Don't try to tell me that you

Are delivering them from

Oppression; you are

The oppressor; you, the terrorist.

Don't try to tell me that I'm

Wrong, that I don't

Understand because I'm too

Young. We're not stupid

We will not be silenced

Numb we are, but the ice-pick of

Truth has began to strike at

Our hard-glass carapace

And glass is not diamond

It breaks. It will break and

Shatter your lies.

We are young, but we see

Have seen

Have heard

The whispered cries of those who

Always, always

suffer, in a

Tragedy of power-play

The ones trod upon by

Those thick-tread, tough combat

Boots, like worms; and

Held up as examples of

The subjects whose dreams are

Being fought for.

On second thoughts—don't justify that.