Semite to Semite

Bloodshed spells the doom
Of generations gone and to be
Hatred seeths and boils over
Poison ivy kills the olive tree

Hey, don't we look the same
We children of Abraham
Praying to the same God
Slaughtering the same lamb

Deep dark eyes
Under glamorous lashes
Victims alike
Of different fascists

Crucify and curse
And murder ourselves
Even as we drink
From the same wells

Time to embrace
Semite to semite
And stop for good
This endless fight

Deep dark eyes
Under glamorous lashes
Victims alike
Of different fascists

Kill the cliche
Undo the past
Build a peace
Built to last

A dry desert home
Where both tribes agree
To honor and worship
The other's dignity

Deep dark eyes
Under glamorous lashes
Victims alike
Of different fascists

12

Is This My Country?

City of my joy, city of my dreams
Under water and forgotten
Corpses floating by
Babies dying
Young and old blacks, old whites

That could be my grandmother
Dead in her wheelchair
Or my brother’s corpse
Floating in the water

My President is bragging about his war
Surrounded by white-clad sailors
Spending the night in the white Hotel del Coronado
While blacks, mostly blacks
Suffer and die

The aid trickles in
More die by the hour
Donate to the Red Cross
I do so but feel worthless nonetheless

It is not what I can or cannot do
Do or do not do
That would save those people

It is what my society
My government
My leaders
Are able to do

They disappoint me
And I am ashamed
Of the government
Of the society
I call my own
And am part of
And am at least in part responsible for

I’ll become better than that
And settle for nothing less
From those who lead me

Goodbye New Orleans
I’ll see you again on the other side of this nightmare

13
« previous cover | contents next »