Saturday, January 16, 2010

What the Pictures Tell Us (Poem)

What the Pictures Tell Us

We are human.
We need.

Jesus on the cross
Sheared from His sacred place
Lies an unfixed beacon
In death's dusty remains.

We are human.
We need.

Bare hands do not
Make water flow
Food grow
Tape to bind wounds
Tents to protect
Tools to dig in to dig out
Electricity to light
Shrouds to wrap brothers and
Sisters and babes.

We've lost the last
Foothold to climb back
From hell.

Just so much hope
Gives hope.

We are human.
We need.

They come.

Americans  Chinese  French  Spanish
Cubans  Germans  United Nations
Peacekeepers  International
Red Cross  Doctors Without Borders.

They carry help in the bellies
Of their silver-winged arks
Ground to a ground-stop.

The aid flows through hearts
Rent. It stops at the borders
Rifling time, at the cleft called Haiti.

We cannot count
The bricks still falling.

We cannot ask clocks
To retake the pulse
Of minutes hours and days
Lost trying.

We are human.
We need.

Hands lift blemished sheets.
The searching whisper
For, and for not, the faces loved.

Despair takes its rest
As it can
At the sound
Of a call-out.

A child found,
Believers learn
How search-and-rescue works.

We are human.
We need.

On sidewalks
In alleys
Over there
Officers with guns
Stand ready.

At whom would they aim?
Can they not see our eyes
Tell the story
Our streets confirm?

We are human.
We need.

Tell us, please,
How to wash death's breath
From the rags
Covering our hearts

What to use against
Blood clotted in a hand
That fits in a hand
Gone unfeeling

How to keep
The sea back
When it's the sea's time.

We would raise our arms
To the sky for a sign.

We raise our arms
To the sky. It is
Clear as the day before
The day before the day
Everything became after.

We are human.
We need.

God, our mouths are open.

Do you hear how the
Mountains hold our pleas
Before echoing them back to us?

Copyright © 2010 Maureen E. Doallas. All Rights Reserved.

REMEMBER HAITI: Simply This for Haiti


Janet Oberholtzer said...

nice ... captures the situation well!

Glynn said...

The pictures make my heart ache. You captured that ache here. We need to translate ache into action. Beautiful poem, Maureen.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Maureen ... how very powerful. I was particularly grabbed by ...

Tell us, please,
How to wash death's breath
From the rags
Covering our hearts

katdish said...

Agh! Beautiful and heartbreaking! Thank you.

Kathleen said...

This groans like my spirit groans. This says what we feel. And yes Glynn, making the pain not wasted pain, futile pain.

S. Etole said...

suffering felt through your words ...

Nicelle C. Davis said...

I like the repeating lines: We are human./We need.
It is wonderful to have your voice be a part of Poetry Social. Thanks for the link.

Nicelle Davis

Nitewrit said...

I think the other said it all, I'll just echo them.