A mural dedicated to Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the streets of Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)
Camera and Pen
(for Shireen Abu Aqleh and all truth-tellers)
“I pray you’ll be our eyes/And watch us where we go/
And help us to be wise/In times we don’t know…”
—David Foster; Carole Bayer Sager
New world’s birthing, crowning; Laboring
frantically— Truth-tellers, whistleblowers,
journalists— its fearless
Warning us: The world can’t wait… Cannot sustain
Unsustainable warfare states
Warning us: Stretch stiff, atrophying dream muscles—
Seek antidotes for lethal circuses of strongmen, fat-cats,
Warlords, war-profiteers, bloodthirsty jackals, slimy
Our precious truth-tellers, whistleblowers, journalists hurl
themselves in crosshairs of snipers’ scopes. Close
distances between brains and hearts and assassins’
Offer up loins, livers, guts to embassy butchers. Sip tea
with a little poison so that we may know… “What’s Goin’
So that we may know…precious truth-tellers, whistleblowers,
journalists…Never know when two men on motorcycle arrive,
Making good on thousands of threats. Never know when the
elevator door opens for the last time…
Camera and pen original sin—punishable by death— 55
slaughtered south of the border…And 46 slaughtered by
apartheid state agents…And 20 by czarist
Silence: the sound of gangster states. Darkness: their view.
We ‘know' what they tell us of Desert Shield. Desert
Storm; Special Military Operation; mowing the grass; Cast
Lead;Iraqi Freedom—And other Orwellian operations
Mengele medicine men secretly perform on peace-loving
Jesus may have had his eye on the sparrow; but the 20yr old’s
Eye is on the glass.
He sees the world through his scope. She’s math.Wind. A dot.
The raid her trap. He watches; waiting in sand with rifle nick
named “Gritty Golda.”
Loner. Few friends. Below average kid. 8 weeks of sniper school.
Robot programmed to hate; to kill. Several weeks more of precision
shooting. 100 meters. 200 meters. A mile or more… Attention to
Enemy—not sister; niece; aunt; daughter; Mother—appears in his cross
hairs. Feminine neckline between helmet and vest. Two second flight—
crimson aerosol— “Without warning, without remorse…” as he was
Taught. Doing his job. Following orders.…His 54th confirmed kill.
“Thank you for your service…”
© 2022. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.