Monday, July 14, 2008
With Iraq continuing to head toward civil war (or at least an uneasy, violent peace) and fighting and killing over religious and ethnic differences, it's obvious that we (and I mean everyone around the world) continue to fail to learn from our recent mistakes.
Not too long ago such differences led to mass killing and destruction in Kosovo after years of oppressed peace in the former Yugoslavia. That's when the word "Ethnic Cleansing" returned to the political lexicon for the first time since the Nazis carried out their brutal and inhuman campaign against the Jews and many others during World War II.
My rage and disgust over the same kind of genocide reoccurring in Kosovo spilled out into this poem I wrote in the late 1990s.
It is very timely considering the genocide continuing to take place in Darfur and in other hot spots around the world
Sounds like some insidious new detergent.
Imagine the ad campaign.
Bought and sold wherever intolerance is found.
This cold phrase evokes
of people being stuffed into
of any individuality,
With Ajax in one hand
a machine gun in the other,
to clean the land
of anyone different from them.
But how will they cleanse
when the bullets stop
and the peace accords are signed?
They will scrub and scrub
but can't remove the blood from their hands.
This is blood that has soaked into the muddy ground,
and into our hearts and souls.
Now, those who the soldiers tried to cleanse with bullets
are trying to rub out them out
with the same indifference and rage.
So the vicious cycle
until none of us can claim to be truly cleansed
as we feebly attempt
to understand the roots of
One thing is clear, though.
There's not enough cleanser in the world
to clean up this mess.