Today a clown burned the city / And the people ran for their lives
In flames. Smoke. Black-Red ashes. / A city in ruins, is it still a city?
In a dark night silence echoes: / A people in fear, is it still a people?
Triumphant the clown laughed / And the people mourned unheard

But a clown and us / Are we not one?

Today a mother ate her child / And the city walls looked on
“What is a child, anyway?” / Crumbling, the left wall shrieked
And the right one quipped: / “A rotten fruit on a dead dry tree.”
As good mothers should / Eating their children, no nobler duty.

But mother and child / Are they not one?

Today a man buried a man alive / Two faces staring at each other
Hopeless tears in the ground /A self-cheering grin dancing above
“All you men must die,” he said / “And all you are dead,” he howled
Gasping for breath a head went flying / A dead man buried a man

But man and man / Are they not one?

A fool once led an army of fools / A hundred brave men for footstool
A thousand men dying like flies / “Die on, brave men, die on,” the fool
Bade them. And still for Commander / Praises were sung, applause given
But the fools knew this: / A little while longer and a fool’s head would hang

The fool was one among fools Yet a lone rotten head hangs on the dead tree…

[“II.”, That tongues may loosen, Feb. 5 ‘17]

Postlude:

A nation “celebrates” a holiday for its people unified. But if any sane person’s been around this place, s/he knows nothing calls for the celebration. And yet, holiday after holiday they sing their hearts out and go marching in the sun. But for what – if I may ask? For unity, you say.

Oh yes, let us celebrate and pat ourselves on the back. What a great job we do! We are one, brother sister. After all, we’re all dead. Or walking dead for the un/lucky. A nation lies in ruins, stained in the blood of her children. Fun fact. Remember the one group that oppressed and killed the other, and the other fought back? And another lay forgotten? We’re square. Should we laugh and celebrate? Ha ha.

Did you know? There once was a lady named Demo Karasi. She was born dead. And the people joined hands with machetes and clubs, with brains lying about and skulls laid out on the marketplace. Is this the unity? Yay, let us celebrate.

And then a line of clowns in suits performed an eternal danse macabre for us all. And we’re overjoyed, aren’t we? Like dogs on full stomachs we run. With colorful fires we light our streets. It’s Christmas, our Christmas; not the devil, but Christ, on the cross.

We erected walls. The sickest longest thickest walls. Everywhere the walls cry overcrowded. But these are OUR walls, it makes a difference, eh? So, like children, we join hands all around the walls and sing. For joy, or for terror? Do not ask me. We are one, shouldn’t you know? Yesterday, today – and tomorrow? – it’s all the same. 26 years, and counting. March on, sing if you like!

Call me when the walls fall. Till then I’ll drink my tears in peace.

V.K.