So you scratch at the windowpanes
you mumble your curses with brows drawn in deep greases
you hail your saints with a big salute
Your lungs are strong but your eyes just mute
Blackpowder and shells in the place of where your soul would be
Did you feel remorse when you traded them in?
Did you question at all the principle of what is ‘sin’?
Did you stop and wonder where the sense is in this
In killing in the name of one who might not even exist?
If he did, do you think he’d approve
do you seriously believe that this is the direction in which we as a world should actually move?
Turn this whole confusing mess of uncertainties into a race to the grave for mere negligibilities?
For what days you choose to hail your spiritual leaders – figureheads – idols or saints
For the colour of your skin for what you wear and how you sin for the country of your mother’s hearth and skim
the borders of your forefather’s interim?
Shooting into the air and barking like mad – biting and scratching at your neighbour’s neck
I feel pity for you yet I can never understand what it is that brought you to believe that this is what they meant
when they created a safety net for your concept of a soul – some guidance and hand to hold tightly onto
You stand on what they say is sacred ground – you idolise your idols eyes and never even once open yours to see through the brainwash the cunning that went into creating this scheme that you follow you fool
I don’t condemn you – I am heart broken – I see your blood soaking sleeves – i hear the bullets like missed ails cutting through cloth and stone through mind and bone – You scream freedom and all i hear is death – You shout your saviours’ name while we stand tall with tears in our eyes and strong beating hearts.
We count our losses and tighten our fists
We’re ready to protect this world from what you can’t seem to resist
you will never stop us, Charlie told me so
I can’t even look at you – for dragging a concept born out of hope and love down into the drains of our world the sewage and mud the holy mess of yellowing human bones and blood and broken spirits and hearts and tears and pain and suffering
In the name of whatever it is you believe in, explain.
I still don’t understand.
What does this have to do with a book?
Any book, any language, any word.
How do you justify reading hate into words of love?
How do you justify taking love and turning it into fear?
Fear won’t last, love will!
We will stand together long after you’ve gone. Whatever we believe in, love is our common ground, our native tongue is humanity, our lands this shared world of ours.
For this, OUR world’s sake will you finally open your eyes and take a good, long look over the paper thin walls of your shoebox-regime.
*I wrote this in the aftermath of the horrible atrocity that happened in Paris earlier this year and felt it appropriate to remind myself these days that love is the common denominator of all tragedies. The days following these horrors are times in which humanity shines the brightest. People reaching out to strangers by opening their doors to provide them with shelter last Friday night is just one such example. Humans and humanity will endure. Love will endure. There is no reason to blindly point fingers at general groups of people just because they believe in a different version of the same thing. Religions all share the core belief that human life is precious, they all preach of love in their own way. There is no reason to blame any religion for cruelty. Ignorance would have us fear each other based on stereotypes and generalisations. I want to remind myself, amidst sadness and pain, love prevails and we in all our flaws and humanity are not blinded by ignorance and fear but let the light shine in through the cracks in everything instead (shout out to Bristlehound and Leonard Cohen right here). The light in our hearts that crosses oceans and borders, that crosses religions and cultures. My love goes out to you, whoever reads this. Best, Linda Catherine*