Blessed the Dead

The nations

On my desktop map

Fit together seamlessly

From a distance their borders

Appear to be all intact

The pastel of their air



Yet in Gaza

Screams of children

With bone shattered faces

Rise up through billowing dust

Reeking of sulfur & sweat

As mothers wail


Blessed the dead

Whose suffering is done

Woe to those who less arms & legs

Are destined to survive

Woe to the insane


Whose bodies

Survive but whose minds

Are torn loose from their hearts

Woe to all the children

Whose bread is hate


How can any people

Who have known such suffering

Find it possible to inflict such suffering

Upon innocent children & elderly

In the name of justice?


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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8 Responses to Blessed the Dead

  1. I hold different views, but your sentiment is no less powerful


    • The good thing is that while we see things differently, we don’t kill each other in service to our dogmas . . . Excellent op/ed piece in today’s NYT by Thomas Friedman on the leadership at work in the middle east . . . Perhaps you’ve read it . . . Thanks for the comment . . .


  2. kiwiskan says:

    Suffering always repeats itself – again and again and again… I’ve just read an interesting book called ‘Mornings in Jenin’ by Susan Abulhawa. A novel, but very interesting…


  3. Because something else means more to them than human loss…or they have become so desensitized….or probably both.


  4. ..and I meant to add that this was a very moving and thought provoking piece.


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