Bouquets of Flowers
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
July 30, 2006
There was a time when words just poured through the black nib of my pen. Frenzied typing in the middle of a night, essays after essays, poems after poems, as if I was intoxicated. Minutes went by. Hours vanished like a heartbeat. Words still flowed through my thumbs, pinky and middle fingers. Now only the middle finger rises up. Instead of beauty of poetry, I see mud and more mud in our decorated world living room. Uttering “F” word is crass and classless. But there is a time, a moment when the unbearable feeling of helplessness becomes too loud to muffle anymore.
They look like bouquets of flowers. Wrapped up in shiny silvery wrap. Dozens of red roses for a beloved. Not one, but many of these “bouquets of flowers” were lying on the cold floor in Qana. The youngest was 10 months old. The oldest 95 years. If these were indeed flowers, they surely could have been the ignored ones that could be easily mangled and rooted out from their cores without the slightest bit of mourning. What a difference between weeds and the decorated roses. What a difference between the bombarded Lebanese civilians and the uplifted soldiers in the south.
If the world affairs would have been just a play on a robust stage, it surely is a badly directed one. The anguish of victims can easily be overwhelmed by the obnoxious crocodile melancholy of suppressors and predators.
“They are terrorists!”
“We are liberating Lebanon!”
Liberating from what and into what? From peaceful sleep into wrapped up “bouquets of flowers” lying neatly in the morgue to be buried in an unmarked mass grave?
Bad hair day? Perhaps, a liar’s Pinocchio nose was itching. You purported to be bringing in peace just a day before the children were bombed to dust and splattered bones. I wonder what was in your mind. Staple food? Your meeting with murderous planners and politicians were done, you got the whiff of what was coming indeed for those mangled children, women and men, fleeing from bombardment, seeking refuge in that “safe building”. Perhaps, they were also the “terrorists”, even the 10 month and 95 year old ones.
War on terror!
War on terror!
War on terror!
Anyone opposes your plundering march and inquisition, are the terrorists?
How forgetful we are. Only in last century we had one of the most atrocious warfare engulfing our world. Then the fascist was coloring the communists; the left and the Jews were the bad guys and gals. Here is a quote from “The Anatomy of Fascism” by Robert O. Paxton:
“Fascist violence was neither random nor indiscriminate. It carried a well-calculated set of coded messages: that communist violence was rising, that the democratic state was responding to it ineptly, and that only the fascists were tough enough to save the nation from antinational terrorism. An essential step in the fascist march to acceptance and power was to persuade law-and-order conservatives and members of the middle class to tolerate fascist violence as a harsh necessity in the face of Left provocation. It helped, of course, that many ordinary citizens never feared fascist violence against themselves, because they were reassured that it was reserved for national enemies and “terrorists” who deserved it. Fascists encouraged a distinction between members of the nation who merited protection and outsiders who deserved rough handling”.
Many may feel dizzy seeing all the bloodshed, clueless how and where all these crazy violence leading us to. They arrested a Muslim man in Seattle for shooting in a Jewish Federation office the other day. Innocent civilians got hurt, one was dead, several wounded. A synagogue in Australia were attacked and the rabbi there said that a dozen of middle-eastern men were running away were laughing, as if they were in a boys day out. You can forget about Iraq. Shia and Sunni are at each other’s throat, with bombs, knives and bullets. Hundred a day civilians are getting killed in Iraq. For what? “Freedom”? Just a few weeks ago Mumbai got a jolt, several crowded trains were bombed, first class passengers were murdered in cold blood. For what? “Freedom”?
Are these incidents separate from each other? Or are there any synchronized orchestra playing its vigorous tune behind the deafening sound of bombs and sobs of tears?
Our innocence has disappeared. Our love poems have desiccated into wordless obituaries.
What is left?
Thorny weeds and roses? Bouquets of flowers?