Monday, 23 January 2017

And There Shall Be Speeches

I was the last child to die for a Nobel Peace Prize
And nobody but my family knows my name.
In the badlands of the world
Where death comes from above
Like a stooping hawk
At the press of a foreign hand.

And there shall be speeches
Under crystal chandeliers
As vintage wine is sipped,
As the hungry dust sipped my blood
And congratulations and smiles are passed
Across snow-white dinner linen.

I think I had a future once
I think I had a name
All gone, in an instant
Of smoke and noise and flame
My death chosen on a Tuesday list
Signed, sealed and delivered

Long before my mother sent me to market
And waved goodbye from the door
I never arrived, I never came home
And there were tears, perhaps
I did not have eyes to see
Nor ears to hear.

And there shall be speeches
With smiles and bon mots and money too
So much money, more than my village made in a year
Money that could have given us a school, a hospital
And brought us a graveyard, for free.

And there shall be speeches
Books, and public appearances
Where adoring people take photographs,
And not one of them will ask unimportant things
Like what happened to my future
Or what was
My name.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2017


  1. Bill,
    Many thanks for this.
    So very true. The now former POTUS (aka; (ig) Nobel piece prizident) does not care to remember the names of those he has had droned. No, to remember would make those people, my fellow human beings, real and the memories of them and their names might haunt him when he tries to sleep every night.
    I'll go so far as to say he and the majority of his predecessors in the office he recently left have been cowards. They never faced an enemy in combat, they just had other poor and working class kids do the killing and dying for them. Yes, cowardly way to "fight" a war those fighting said wars never knew why they were fighting.

  2. I really like your poetry.

    It's great.


  3. Obama gave great speeches. His actions didn't quite match. No war on Muslims, he said in Cairo. Then killed thousands. Of course, the US MSM says they were all terrorists, Obama used 'smart' drones that only kill hardened terrorists, not a single innocent. That 6 month old? Hardened terrorist. That 90 year old great-grandmother? Hardened terrorist.

    Now we have someone who promises to kill and torture anyone who isn't an American (of course, with Obama, being an American provided no protection at all if you were not inside the US).

    And a visa is bought and paid for, and is (or should have been) a legal document guaranteeing the right to go to the US inside a specified window. Trump is like a shopkeeper who takes the customers' money and then refuses to give them the good or service they thought they were buying, which is theft.

    It's not altogether clear that Trump is significantly worse than Obama. Nor is it altogether clear he'll be any better. From the US perspective, Obama almost always used drones, so very few Americans got killed, but one was killed in the Yemen Trump's first week in office. What Yeminis died is not altogether clear. I've heard 8 women and 8 children murdered by a US patrol, but few details, or even a certainty that 8 women and 8 children were killed by a US patrol.



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