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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Scream for the Sun to Rise

Prompted by Goya’s ‘Shooting of the Insurgents’

 

 

For when reason sleeps

Who knows what monsters are born

For when dreams arise

Who knows what nightmares awake

For when hopes are high

What lies beyond hope’s edge

And when the day fades and dies

Who screams for the sun to rise?

 

Neighbors fire at each other’s eyes

What unfurled flag, classification scheme

Group or set excludes to this point

Explodes its results on hallowed ground

Must we pass by as if unaware hoping

Someone else will redeem the unsung

While junta and time mute the cries

Who screams for the sun to rise?

 

Staggering, Reason slips and falls,

A broken body down some couloir,

Under serac of image and reportage,

Sarcophagus to a generation

Who is left in Chagos or My Lai

Who burns in Shabunda’s flames

Omission renders the rulers’ lies

Who screams for the sun to rise?

 

Basque’s best braved Franco’s ire

Count the figures who lifeless lie,

Some cower wounded on the ground,

Screen tonight’s tale ‘Calvary’

Shot with hands outstretched,

A candle flames in sightless night, 

Bravely hold the executioners’ eyes

Who screams for the sun to rise?

 

 

Libertada, conscience and a will

Inspires some to see the matter through

When firing squads do their worst,

And friends lay scattered around

Curse the monsters at the door,

The filters of how and what we hear,

“Fire!” pierces crimson Catalan skies,

Who screams for the sun to rise?

 

                              —Jeffrey Loffman




 
Sunrise on the River, Photographer Tony Acarasiddhi Press



My Statue

 


Ivory and alabaster, awarded by my peers,

conferences had applauded each experiment;

tenacious, I never stopped seeking a solution

and I broke through brick walls.

 

In Garamba, Paul spots an elephant calf,

deafened when its herd family was felled,

circling again and again around their corpses,

he feeds it milk; still, after thirty years, stares

at steel-pierced heads, scars where

tusks once were mark another ending.

Moulmein lasted a while, some extra days; it happens.

 

I now stay amidst bush and savannah;

nothing of my statue remains, I used

a mallet, crushed it to bits, never

to be turned to stone.

 

 

Paul Onyango has spent 30 years as a warden warding off poachers

Elephants Dying in Epic Frenzy as Ivory Fuels Wars and Profits by Jeffrey

Gettleman,  New York Times 03.09.2012


                                                                                           —Jeffrey Loffman