I’m going to stop reading the news…
Deborah Beach Giordano
© September 6, 2009
I’m going to stop reading the news:
every letter to the editor –
and far worse, the comments pages –
filled with hate and fear
and omni-directed rage.
The glee at failures,
suffering, loss, and death;
the longing for vengeance,
the sheer delight in condemnation
of those who are different,
the emphatic unwillingness to listen
to those who disagree:
sickening, irrefutable evidence
of the death of civilization.
A vast plain of monads –
each committed to himself alone,
squatting before a smokescreened image,
worshiping an abstract concept,
chanting the current buzzword,
enamored of a meaningless cliche,
obeying the faceless voices
who ceaselessly preach
their unholy message:
despise, defame, defile, destroy.
Each a poisoned soul of secret loathing
spewing venom from every pore,
lashing, slashing, scratching, clawing,
twisting in an agony of terror
at the horrors of a meaningless existence.
Unquestioned obedience –
their goal and their ideal –
does it hide a secret hope
for absolution of their sins;
an excuse for wicked deeds,
a rationale for having cursed
the poor and those in need:
“I was only following orders.”
Even the act of surrender
is an action all the same:
a choice, a decision, a determination,
an expression of personal responsibility
for being irresponsible.
The blood of the innocent
will still be on their hands.
Endlessly they scream and shriek
the lies they’ve learned so well;
red faced and eyes bulging,
they shout down reasoned argument.
Never, ever, must calmer heads prevail.
No mistakes were made,
full speed ahead,
bring it on and on and on….
Yet repetition doesn’t make it so,
nor can volume, however loud,
drown out the heartbeat of truth.
The Divine Voice cannot be silenced,
a constant thrumming counterpoint;
a call to conscious conscienceness
and to life well-lived:
to compassion, concern, and kindness
toward all that lives and breathes.
Peace and joy and love
are their favorite targets of contempt;
they snicker and sneer
at such laughable impossibilities –
in their world of stone-cold hearts
and utter hopelessness.
And yet… And yet in the stillness
when the silence speaks,
there is that longing they cannot deny:
a terrible hollow vacancy-
the permanent emptiness in their heart:
for them there is no love,
no one who can be trusted,
there is only desolation
and then death.
If life is thus for them,
then others must suffer as well.
Their misery does not enjoy company –
it demands it:
how dare anyone else
enjoy good health,
clean water, clear air,
or a well-prepared meal?
They are consigned to hell
by their own actions,
condemned to fiery torments
by their own hate-fueled words,
imprisoned upon a dying planet
killed by their own neglect.
And they have decided
to take everyone else