Voices of Silence
This group is directly inspired from the reaction in iPeace today on the posting of the poem An Absence in Jerusalem. The poem was written following the death of Yassar Arafat and was the expression of how the middle east war zone, which shaped my childhood and adolescence just as profoundly as the apartheid violence in which I grew up, had cut into the 'shoreline of my heart' and my perception of violence, war, aggression, dissidence, terrorism, repression, propaganda, ideology, alienation and dehumanisation of the soul.
iPeace and mepeace live along side one another in parallel universes and it is my goal to facilitate here, a lounge in which the individuals may once more find resonance and meaning. As a poet, the significance how this poem, which is my personal reflection on the tragedy of what is being lost of humanity in this particular, but in any conflict, touched individuals here today, signifies that people are hungry to share, to be heard, to be embraced, to forgive and be forgiven. More than this, Absence in Jerusalem, is a pause in the window of each of our lives, a moment to reflect on our own fears, prejudices, desires and hopes. I would like the poem to be the meeting place of tolerance, discussion, compassion but most of all, a reflection of how fragile our humanity is irrespective of where ever we live, how ever we suffer, love, learn, celebrate and aspire to be the best we were born to become. (September 24, 2008 at 10:18pm)
(Thanks to co administrator of this group David Gould for first posting the poem here..)
Voices of Silence
…of an absence in Jerusalem..
The voices of silence
say it was an easy slaughter:
not even the grapevines
turned their heads away
in quiet dismay....
Skins, perturbed like sour cream
line the edges of the mind
aligned with beds asleep
across the horizon barren of shepards
and their sheep...
Young smiles run dry
and pave your homecoming shunning
thick embraces sodden in the sap of persuasion
where fattened promises drop like
brittle on their tongues
There of a past we no longer occupy
we stole the urgency in their eyes
and from the hip faked such loving
between slack breasts
they could not see the hate for coming
like missiles from birthing crotch
that shook the desert into frozen heat
turning anger into swarming plagues
and life into wet ash cursedly buried in bare feet
And we turn our backs in shame
Up against the executioner’s wall
But all tenderness hung out from the gallows
Fall as dead snakes wrapped in bougainvillea
Fuchsia against the inevitable tongue in foreign drawl
And in the shadows of jerusalem
Voices of the slaughter
speak in the silence of tomorrow
steerless as gazes lost on a winter's chill
tugging up at a defunct sun
and grapevines die for lack of love and innuendo.
©R.Sigel from The Roundabout Years.