Saturday, December 15, 2012

In Mad Grief & Despair

60ยบ ~ an unbearably gray day befitting of the heavy heart



Yesterday tore a hole in my heart, as it did with most any human being hearing the news.  We all tried to sludge our way through as best we could, knowing that what we were experiencing was nothing compared to those actually touched by the tragedy.

Many folks decry social media as the end of human interaction, but I have to say that I am thankful for text messages and Facebook.  I was able to connect with those I hold dear, even though many of them are far, far away in physical distance.  As the tragedy unfolded, there were many rumors and news accounts that would later prove false, and I know that is a problem on Facebook/Twitter/Etc., but I'm one of those who holds out for the "confirmation from authorities" reports, which is why I tend to listen to NPR rather than turn on the TV.  Also, the TV images are often just too much to bear.

In the end, I was reminded that I am lucky to be a writer and lucky to have so many writer friends.  Very quickly, people began posting poems that spoke to the tragedy of a massacre such as yesterday's, and while no words can fill the void of those sudden deaths, the words can offer solace and a glimpse of light.  The words can also call us to action, as we are all responsible for trying every day to make this world a better place for the children who will inherit it.

Here is the poem that made the rounds yesterday that stays with me the most.  Bless Lucille Clifton for writing it.

for the eyes of the children,
the last to melt,
the last to vaporize,
for the lingering
eyes of the children, staring,
the eyes of the children of
buchenwald,
of viet nam and johannesburg,
for the eyes of the children
of nagasaki,
for the eyes of the children
of middle passage,
for cherokee eyes, ethiopian eyes,
russian eyes, american eyes,
for all that remains of the children,
their eyes,
staring at us,   amazed to see
the extraordinary evil in
ordinary men.
 
 
Lucille Clifton, "sorrow song" from Next: New Poems. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton.

4 comments:

Kathleen said...

Thank you. I agree that the chance to connect with each other in shock, grief, and rage was good. Now, more.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Glad you're out there, K.!

Tawnysha Greene said...

Thank you for the poem, Sandy! Poetry is a great comfort in times like these.

Sandy Longhorn said...

You're welcome,T. Thanks for reading.