You argue about what might have
Happened, or did not –
You fight over what a judge
Jury, a prosecutor
Should or should not have done
Who is racist, who isn’t.
Cannibal headhunters terrorise the towns
Of Syria, torturing and looting;
Car bombs blow apart
Iraqi schools and markets
The drumbeat of ten years
Heroes hide in airports
While evil empires try to hunt them down –
Or rot naked in jail cells,
Just telling the truth about the way things are
Is heroism now.
Girls in Pakistan are shot
For falling in love,
Villagers in India are jailed and killed
For not giving up their lands for mines
For daring to ask to be treated as people
And not as things.
Drones stalk the skies above
Afghan weddings and Yemeni mosques
Killing teenagers because of who their fathers are;
Piloted by freedom warriors half a world away
Killing on a suspicion
Death on a whim.
Poisons pour from factory chimneys
Forests turn to slag, icecaps melt
Rivers wither and grasslands die
And the sullen seas rise to swallow the land.
Earth is still a ball of rock, turning, turning
Round a minor sun on an outer spiral arm
Of just another unexceptionable galaxy,
And the time will come
When it will be a cinder hanging
In an incandescent cloud of cosmic gas.
Where will be your argument then
Of what the judge and jury should have said
Or the prosecutor done?
Copyright B Purkayastha 2013