CNN World Report (1994)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s note: As written in the previous post, Wendy has set war at the center of her poetry since the 1960s. As the Russian war on Ukraine enters its second week, we have chosen to upload a selection of (sadly relevant) War Poems that were originally published within her four anthologies. This poem, titled “CNN World Report”, was published in Wendy’s first book of poetry, Poets are the bravest, which was printed in 2001. As Wendy continues her daily meditation practice, she focuses on shrouding the innocent people of Ukraine with healing light, as she prayers for world peace, which has become one of the most valuable and valued aspects of her life’s work.

There they stand

Bunched together

The way little kids will

When they’re excited

In the middle of what

Was once a street

Where shell fire and shrapnel

Make geometric chunks

Out of the pavement now

And the apartment buildings

Behind them

Into relics

Like ones I remember

From allied bombs

In a part of Florence

Near the Ponte Vecchio

Summer of 1951

But here they are

Being interviewed

Children of Sarajevo

Just children being children

In front of a camera

Even when childhood

Is broken

And cannot mend

 

The calm voice of an interpreter

Rolls on

Above their high pitched

Clamor

They talk     gesture     poke each other

All at the same time

Reminding me

Of a flock of noisy birds

In a tree

Until one bird voice

Clear

Like the song of a blackbird

Rises over the others

Quiets them     silences them

As the camera picks out

A face

Whose eyes look back

Into the camera’s lens

While the interpreter turns Slavic

Into English

And I hear words

From this child of Sarajevo

Form a question

No one in the world

Will answer

 

We don’t hate anyone

She says

So why can’t they stop

This stupid war

 

Months pass

I think of them often

I bless them

And I wonder

Are they alive

*From Poets are the bravest, pub. date: 2001
Photo credit: https://bit.ly/3hPuZNI

One thought on “CNN World Report (1994)

  • March 10, 2022 at 2:27 am
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    I remember this poem from your book. It is still so relevant. Thank you for sharing it again. Peace.

    Reply

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