Thursday, 9 October 2014

'Face of the Earth'

I could have clicked in seconds to the YouTube video,
but the magic turns on the person who plays with it.
Page one of the New York Post was enough:

Reporter kneeling stoic in Guantanamo orange,
his face gripped by the black-hooded executioner,
his throat against the knife.
End of days, Islamic State threatens.

Generals say, Wipe them out.
Wipe them off the face of the earth.

4:30 a.m. I get up, go outside.
The reporter had the face of the earth.
You have that face.

Towering oak’s leaves etch the inky sky like hands
askew in their reach and dangle.

I go inside, sit in a chair, fold over my body,
hang there, dangling my hands. I get on my knees and lunge.
Surely goodness and mercy. Surely wherever I am
I experience love.

The slow patter of rain speeds into a downpour.
Flash flood before dawn. What would Szymborska say?

We made them. They are in the image of the bodies
that created them.

Our weapons their weapons looted from Iraqi army  
after we think they have WMD and bomb,
and their dictator hides in a hole.

Now desert holes hide ransoms at GPS points:
cash, gas, food, water, a whole truck dug out of sand.
Midnight I devour a quart of ice cream.

Another spoiled American, I reel when I walk.
Hand over the tinfoil hat.

They aren’t through the mirror darkly.
They are the mirror.
Then I am back outside, my face turned up to the deluge.
Then I am back inside, sleeping with the rain.

Heather H. Thomas

Times Topics: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria:

U.S. General Says Raiding Syria Is Key to Halting Isis

New York Post: August 20, 2014 Cover Image:

Heather H. Thomas has six books of poetry, including Blue Ruby (FootHills Publishing). Her work is translated into Spanish, Swedish, Bosnian, Albanian, and Lithuanian. She lives in Reading, PA, USA.