Shatila 2017

entry picture

Between wooden stalls children skip 

along corridors of kindness,

crescents stand before the cross

though not enough to mark the loss.

 

Traded are

cool stone lined streets,

synthetic warmth

for damask sheets.

 

While under rubbled cities

lies the debris of their youth,

they know not what this place is

but one day will know the truth.

 

And that should strike a fear in those

who shrug, then gird their lands

who cover eyes and close their ears

and wash the blood from idle hands.

 

◄ On snails

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Comments

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Wolfgar Miere

Sun 22nd Jan 2017 16:24

Thanks elP,

history isn't that popular these days.

David.

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elPintor

Sun 22nd Jan 2017 03:49

Modern christians would do well to understand that islam isn't the sole perpetrator of atrocity in this world..they seem to fail to recognize that their culpability exists alongside all to whom are ascribed faith in their god.

elP

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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 20th Jan 2017 11:27

Thanks SS and Martin,

this link shows a brilliant report by Robert Fisk on Sabra and Shatila (I have posted it before, but do not apologise for re-posting, as it is evidence)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbMtJhvfZ0

Martin, I posted you a private message, it did make me chuckle and I completely understand, even if you had been serious I would have understood it.

As an aside there is a fantastic animated film which I watch every six months or so called "waltz with Basir" it deals with the memory of Sabra/Shatila. You may well have seen it, but if not it really is worth checking out. Here is the trailer for it,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylzO9vbEpPg

Much love,

David.

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Martin Elder

Fri 20th Jan 2017 09:47

Hi David
I am really sorry it was late and it came out wrong. what I meant to suggest was that I think you probably have a vast wealth of experience from which to draw from of which you use such rich imagery. Love it
once again my sincere apologies
Martin

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suki spangles

Fri 20th Jan 2017 08:36

Hi David, I remember as a teenager watching those images - horrific. Same again two years ago when another
two thousand Palestinians perished, including five hundred and fifty one children; and a few years before, Lebanon. Even the ghosts will be driven into the sea.

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 19th Jan 2017 21:22

Thanks Ray and Martin for very generous comments.

Always grateful for your taking the time to read, it is much appreciated.

Sorry, I have to ask Martin, do you find my experience suspicious or suspect? I'm curious. Whichever, it is something which I'm not unfamiliar with, it seems an occupational hazard.

The truth is I rarely talk about the things which inspire me to write, maybe that's why I write them here because I don't talk about them.

I appreciate it is probably curious to some and may seem improbable that I have had the good fortune to travel so widely to unusual places.

That said I am merely grateful that people actually take the time to read it, thanks again.

David.

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Martin Elder

Thu 19th Jan 2017 20:20

This is so powerfully and beautifully put David. You paint another vivid picture from your suspect vast experience.
It is a great piece

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raypool

Thu 19th Jan 2017 19:22

The sadness I feel David is that with your unique knowledge there is a whole reading potential of people who should be in touch with your fantastic take on the realities. You just have a way of expressing these terrible things with a light touch which has all the sensitivity which makes your contributions a special experience .

I live in hope .... Ray x

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 19th Jan 2017 18:41

Thanks for reading and your comments Paul. I did see your piece "The Innocents" the other day though didn't comment at the time, please forgive me for that, I enjoyed the piece very much.

I have spent quite a bit of my working life in the Middle East and Southern Asia, I was fortunate to visit Syria on several occasions just prior to the succession of Bashar al-Assad to power. He wasn't popular even back then as the people had loved his brother who died in a car crash before he could become leader.

Syria did have an oppressive regime even in the mid to late nineties when I visited, but it was a beautiful country and much more orderly than the chaos of the Lebanon which is where I was regionally based.

Anyway the tragedy which followed was beyond anyones imagination back then, even if instability was expected. I have attached a link to a piece I wrote about Aleppo in April last year.

https://www.writeoutloud.net/public/blogentry.php?blogentryid=56516

I was quite angry when I wrote it as people where reflecting upon the tragic circumstances of the Hillsborough disaster, which however terrible, justice was achieved for some ultimately. Those who died and suffered in Aleppo will be far less fortunate I fear, but who will care about them in the West.

Thanks again for your reading and comments,

David.

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Paul Waring

Thu 19th Jan 2017 17:43

I enjoyed reading this David, and found your reply to Stu's comment really interesting. The desperate sadness of the poem fits with a piece I posted on here the other day called 'The Innocents' which was influenced largely by the tragic events in Syria, especially Aleppo. This is food for thought, thanks for posting it. Paul

PeterRay

Thu 19th Jan 2017 14:58

I like this poem and its imagery. So many places and so many children to whom these words apply.

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 19th Jan 2017 12:47

Hi Stu, thanks for reading and commenting.

I do believe that perpetrators should be worried about the future actions of those they have crossed, and I do think some will reap what they have sown.

I doubt whether many will lose any sleep at night over what has been done, though I have met people who have suffered greatly due to wrongs they themselves have done.

I am personally interested in Shatila as it was the site of a terrible war crime perpetrated by the Christian Phalange (whilst Israeli forces stood by, rather like the Russians watching the Germans obliterate Warsaw) upon Palestinian refugees in 1982.

I was fortunate enough to visit Sabra and Shatila when I worked in Beirut, and until recently was unaware that Syrian refugees were now living at the same site, nothing much changes.

Thanks again Stu.

David.

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Stu Buck

Thu 19th Jan 2017 12:27

another great piece david.

with regards to;

And that should strike a fear in those

who shrug, then gird their lands

are you saying the young will have revenge or that the guilt will eat at those who perpetrate the violence?

sadly i dont think either is very likely...

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