Monday, November 26, 2012

Innocent Blood – v4

That troubled land, torn and split apart
knowing war, strife, far too long
for four thousand years, more,
for some escape through there, to a land
once of oppression, now of refuge

Once of hope, now of struggle
back into that land, give and take
the struggle of the brothers,
of Ishmael and Isaac, fighting
adding more scar tissue to the wounds

Locked in bitter conflict
in an endless cycle, chained together
over their father’s inheritance
innocent blood shed; in the stories,
in the news, innocents in the cross-fire

Forever under threat, ruthless, indiscriminate
rage and fury, power, authority, nations and people
land of the saints, of the martyrs, ancient, tribal
ancient wounds, new scar tissue,
never finding peace, on earth

In that rich land of promise
brothers in bitter struggle
innocent blood, spilled, shed
crying out from the ground
for God, for Allah

Edited November 26, 2012
“Innocent Blood – v4”
after rereading original inspiration for the poem
Edited November 23, 2012
“Innocent Blood – v3”
November 23, 2012
“Innocent Blood – v2”
after writing several poems on this topic
announcement of a cease fire
between Gaza (Hamas) and Israel
November 21, 2012
the tragedy of the fighting in Gaza and Israel
and the source of the conflict
in the division of Ishmael and Isaac
the sons of Abraham
original poem
January 14 and 15, 2009
“Innocent Blood”
Matthew 2:13-23
and words of Bishop Peter Weaver,
in his Partners in Ministry email
“♦ THE TERRIBLE VIOLENCE IN THE GAZA STRIP is deeply disturbing. Hundreds of innocent civilians, including children are being caught in the crossfire. Last week, after we celebrated Epiphany (Jan. 6, the magi visiting Bethlehem) I thought about the rest of Matthew 2 where Herod sets out to kill all the "innocents" under two and Mary, Joseph and Jesus head for Egypt....probably through Gaza! Both the Palestinians and Israelis fear and react to violence from the other side and to a long history of threats and actions that are indelibly etched in their memories. Tragically, every additional death and injustice etches new memories in new generations who will grow up with even more hatred and determination to "win", no matter what the means of terrorism or oppression. "An eye for an eye, leaves everyone blind"
How can peace with justice be found?
A Quaker saying, based in the Gospel, points the way. "There can be no peace without reconciliation. There can be no reconciliation without forgiveness. There can be no forgiveness without giving up the hope of a better yesterday." In other words, holding on to the deeply etched bitterness of the past prevents us from embracing a new future of peace. Nations do it. Families do it. Churches do it. Pray that we might all become peacemakers. Pray for the land we call "holy."”

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 22,340+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

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