Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The urge to respond


This tragedy, that -
20 innocents murdered in a classroom in Connecticut
10 young girls blown to bits gathering firewood in Afghanistan,
this number colatterally damaged by drones last month,
that number killed in this or that war, today,
another veteran suicide (do the dates matter?)
Depending on the proximity
      calamity  / enormity,
its effect on you personally,
out pours the grief,
          outrage/ stunned silence; the
words, they come Later - as
newspeople go media it
      photographers go photograph it
          bloggers go blog & twitterers go tweet it -

artists go paint it
      writers go write it,and
               poets go poem it:
Impact/ Reaction/ Expression/ Analysis/ Catharsis

I can't find words
this time. It's not working.
Word-working the fact or penning an emotion;
      draped in this format, seems
simply a comment,
trying hard to be other.

The urge to respond; Some have
with money / wreaths / care/
candles/ food baskets/ a teddy bear/
tears/ hugs/ call for action/ more security,
words & more words
or just plain numbed

How does one paint silence?
Or word speechlessness?
   how do you convey a felt unpunched punch in the gut, you're left to
dig into the mind's Word-Bin and
all that comes out is
   (wholly inadequate)
wordcrumbed, scatterworded
af-fect (after the fact).

So compelling, that urge to respond - how ever
Because  you're alive, and can
(albeit remotely,
        ineffectively) ...
while they - those 20 small ones -



*Re:   the attempted black/red/white artwork - 20 birds ascending/ transcending/ out of the raw memory of bloodbath/ darkness. I am not an artist but this image of the children as small birds flying together kept coming to me. Despite the spatial dominance/symbolism of the jagged red streaks, when I re-look at this picture, I'm taken past the red and see only those wings, 20 little white birds in a night sky, almost like stars, forever twinkling.  It is how I would like to remember them- together, at peace, happy, free.