after “the war never here”

(the war never here)

i had a dream recently
that someone died, and
it was on the news,
and that the someone
was not someone that i
did not know,
in my dream, that someone
was not someone else’s someone,
and the nightmare was
not someone else’s nightmare

truly terrible things
always only happen to other people
until they happen to you.

these things
are always happening
all over the world

children dying
mothers dying
fathers dying
families displaced
elderly abandoned
youth discounted
soldiers killed
lovers mutilated

and there are always
those who can change the
channel, who can ignore the
news, who can shed a tear,
post a quick status update,
and move on to the next
trending topic, from bombs
to pop stars, from famine
to sports scores

we all do it,
those of us who can,
because we are human
and it is difficult to dwell
within despair and disaster
and empathy, difficult to
sit in feelings of powerlessness,
but also difficult
to say nothing, to not join
in the chorus which states
that we see pain though
we cannot truly share it

and sometimes all i
can think to do
is write a poem
and never do i delude
myself into thinking
it is enough

for those in the US (via a dear friend)

Find your rep here:

Dear Representative [insert yours here],

I am [info about you if you’d like] and am committed to social justice for all oppressed peoples. I am writing to you today to urge you to condemn the brutal collective punishment the Palestinian people are enduring at the hands of the Israeli military. I am urging you to demand in Congress that we withdraw all military support to Israel, a country that is in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention with its continued occupation and civilian-targeted attacks against Gaza. I urge you to pressure Israeli lobbies and Israel itself to withdraw its blockade of Gaza and allow for the safe passage of Gazans so that aid and refuge will be accessible to a people in dire need of it.

I also urge you to support the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which was successful in holding the apartheid regime of South Africa accountable for its crimes, and stand opposed to all Congressional attempts to censor academic freedom of speech and freedom of dissent. I urge you to stand against bill HR 4776 which calls: “To prohibit an institution of higher education that participates in a boycott of the Israeli government, economy, or academia from receiving funds from the U.S. federal government.”

I thank you for your time and for reading this request.

[your name]

and we hope that
the small things we do
add up and that enough of us
will do small things
that someday it will all
add up to be something like enough
for things to change.

and we may fear contradictions
between our lives and speech and actions
but they would be there anyway

better to aim for light and fall short
than never to reach for it at all.