New York- In compiling a short manuscript of poetry that was written from approximately 1997-2002, its interesting for me to look back and see which poem topics are in a time capsule of that era and which are even more relevant in 2016. The piece below about Afghan refugees before 9/11 but it might as well be regarding the fate of Syrian and Iraqi refugees today. It is juxtaposed with the image above which I shot shortly after 9/11.
Beneath the poem are Syrian Kurdish refugees in southern Turkey, existing in humanitarian limbo. We must ask ourselves what have the terror wars and the Arab and Kurdish uprisings actually accomplished?
Unwanted and unafraid
On the move from where squalor has stayed
Each at his own indescribable peril
Dying everyday undeserved of each discrete, excruciating hell
Transforming desert to village overnight
Pulling water from the bedrock in the name of the almighty
And when that smile confronted me
I knelt to grace for all to see
An expression so beautiful
A moment in time beyond dutiful
Inhabiting at the edge of existence
People without sustenance are the truest resistance