Friday, August 04, 2006

Earth Council

Harmony, copyright Alan Pogue, 1978

Babies in Pajamas

are not combatants
or enemies
of anyone, nor
grown to adulthood
would be
but for rampant

justifies torching a room
full of sleeping children
and if the arc
of our world
demands a rationale
for killing
sleeping children
that arc must
and irrevocably


The people of
the earth
must make a peace
too strong
for our leaders
to break. (Alan Pogue)

in pajamas
are not enemies.

new arc
will circle an
Earth Council where
real issues --
poverty, health,
human rights,
global warming,
universal disarmament,
reparations for war victims,
for instance,
will be addressed,
and solved.

Parents and children
will come to the table,
and have equal say
with presidents
and kings.

There will be guiding
principles —

That which nurtures life
will be fostered.
That which destroys it
will be shunned.

All ideas, creeds, gods, goddesses
and cultural visions will be

There will be a 10 million dollar
rule. Anyone who hoards more
than that will be imprisoned.

The extra money will be given
to people now in prison,
who will be released
and given a new start.

Non-violent problem solving

will be taught to every human
being on earth.

Global Capitalism will
to smaller, local units of industry
based on nurturing values
and the well being of
whole communities.

Enemies will be those who hoard,
those who stoop to violence to solve
human disputes,
those who lie to gain power
or influence, those who deny
safety and human rights
to Earth families.

Every individual will be responsible
for his or her own actions.

Enemies are not
babies in pajamas.

There will be a new paradigm.
It begins today.

Wars do not make peace
justice does.

©Susan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice SB. I agree, you cannot war your way to peace. MS

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of buts in this theme..

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually one but

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so prolific, can't even keep up!!


3:58 PM  
Blogger SB said...

Sent to us by a reader -- The author of this letter was the one of the Women who visited Palestine.I wrote about them in the poem Shabbat -- posted recently -- see the Women in Black post.

Dear Mr. Kofi Annan,

After the genocide of 1 million Rwandans, there were lots of
apologies, including one from you:

" ... The world must deeply repent this failure. Rwanda's tragedy was
the world's tragedy. All of us who cared about Rwanda, all of us who
witnessed its suffering, fervently wish that we could have prevented
the genocide. Looking back now, we see the signs which then were not
recognized. Now we know that what we did was not nearly enough--not
enough to save Rwanda from itself, not enough to honor the ideals for
which the United Nations exists. We will not deny that, in their
greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda ..." -
Kofi Annan

Did you mean what you said?

Today as I write to you the "signs" are everywhere and the U.N.
remains as impotent as ever. The U.S., U.K, and Israel have embarked
on a genocidal campaign to divide, conquer, massacre, torture, rape,
kidnap, bulldoze, cluster bomb, phosphorus bomb Arab and Muslim
children, women, men, hospital patients and refugees in Lebanon,
Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, while detaining without charges in
secret and not-so-secret prisons, torturing and
extrajudicially-killing Arabs and Muslims anywhere in the world
without judge, jury or proof of anything.

Are we still behind the desk working out the "formula" to see how many
"massacres" of huddled women and children = genocide? How many "acts"
of genocide add up to "genocide?" While you and so many others
tiptoed around that taboo word the last time, 1 million Rwandans died
a torturous death and you were so sorry after the fact. Thirty years
after the genocide of the Maya in Guatemala, there was a "truth
commission." So many truth commissions when it is too late to save

Muster up some guts, Mr. Annan, for God's sake. Stop being an
apologist for murderers. Your own U.N. observers were deliberately
blown to bits the other day by Israel and you only managed to squeak
out an accusation and then disappeared. And the U.N. tiptoed around
attaching the word "condemn" to the atrocities committed by Israel
with U.S. weapons. At the risk of being accused of being
"anti-semantics," stop dallying with words and do something. Use what
is left of your tenure to save some frightened, innocent people. It
is already too late for so many. What are you afraid of? At the rate
that we are careening toward WWIII we are all going to be dead in no
time anyway.

The majority of the world knows that the U.N. is worthless, but tell
me, Mr. Annan, to whom am I supposed to direct my objection these
days? To "my" U.S. administration, a criminally insane group of
vampires babbling about "birth pangs" while fedexing bombs to
incinerate real, live children in their sleep? To the gaggle of
'manchurian candidates' that pass for senators and congressmen who
suddenly found themselves in unanimous agreement about something? To
Europe? To the Saudis? To the World Court?
Tell me, who will stop those who now know that they have absolute
impunity? Who will stop those who know that they can invade sovereign
countries, exterminate human beings like roaches and then celebrate
these deeds in Orwellian press releases that get printed and repeated
verbatim over the newswire?

To whom should I direct this protest? The last time I was at a
peaceful march against the occupation of Iraq, I was peppersprayed in
the face for no reason and witnessed the police smash a young boy's
head on the ground. Democracy at its finest. Hundreds of thousands
marched, wrote, spoke, engaged in civil disobedience and still the
U.S. attacked Iraq. Is there anyone with a conscience left to whom I
can appeal?

The world is not silent. The world is in shock at the magnitude of
what is unfolding.

I could make my way to stand in front of a bulldozer or a tank with a
bullhorn and get run over twice like Rachel Corrie or I could wait to
get rounded up without charges and put in the new Gitmo prison, or
perhaps there is another way to stop this madness?

You tell me, Mr. Annan. You get a salary to figure these things out.
I demand that you live up to your responsibilities. Go ahead, the
real "shock and awe" would be if you took a stand. You know the
history of the region; I don't have to repeat it here. You can flip
through the numerous UN resolutions on the question of Palestine as a
refresher unless they are now being shredded and used for kitty

Maybe only the wind is listening to me. Then may the wind know that I
object, I dissent, I abhor this plan to recarve the map by carving out
of it the bodies of Arabs and Muslims. May the wind carry the memory
and the lessons of Rwanda to haunt the hearts of anyone with the power
to act for justice and humanity.

Sincerely disgusted,
Annette D'Armata

4:19 PM  

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