Is it wrong to make a song
of bombardment:
stucco walls turning crimson
through the alchemy of war,
rich & poor apartments ground together,
schools collapsed on collateral schoolchildren,
mosques hollowed into husks,
houses crushed in snuff films,
the missiles’ jizz,
a blizzard of shards small enough
for a gizzard, some red-eyed
rock dove’s crop?
Yes. Violence has
too strong a valence.
Unsing it,
goddamn it.


Snuff films: see here.

Prompted by this selection of words at ReadWritePoem.


  1. “schools collapsed on collateral schoolchildren”
    so sadly true. I like it a lot.
    and yes: Stop


  2. I didn’t grieve until I read this. Thank you.


  3. ………….stucco
    …… & poor

    my house
    my throat
    pure sin


  4. Every line is a missal of shattered life. So well done it hurts.


  5. Hmm. Who was it who said “Speaking out is the easy part. Finding a form for one’s words with the power to melt hearts and change minds–that’s harder”? Ah yes, I remember.

    What Deb and Bill said.


  6. I’m glad to read these words, strong and demanding. I think I must have stopped believing that things could be any different, so stopped asking.


  7. Thanks for all the comments, folks. I have another poem on the way, but at the moment I’m hard at work on the qarrtsiluni podcast. It’s kind of interesting listening to all those apocalyptic poems at once…


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