Are the guardians of the homeland lost on the Silk Road, or
detoured, and cannot find safe, either the temples of Aleppo,
or its Liberty Square?
In their bunkers the people cowered and wondered.
Then, light bundles and babies in tow, they fled
figuring what matters most is keeping their heads.
Barraged by jets and mortar, not only the cities are dead.
Dry in their bullet-ridden homes, people drown, you know,
some in hopes, others in fear . . . most going unrecorded
even on foreign shores; but alarming images call for the end of sleep,
and collectively richer eyes in all colours and shapes bulge open,
unable to ignore the blood and gore washed clean and delivered by the sea.
Many of those eyes well up, and not a few tear . . .
saying, “yes, Mr Paradis,” in our paralysis
‘None of us can stand idle when we know the horrors.’
But when Canadians ask, what can you chart for them?
The course of your relentless pursuit of diplomacy, or
the diversity in your long bag of tax/conscience credits?
Money has its place and, to some, seems right every time,
But you can help deliver from Al-Hasakah to Quneitra,
Approaching five years of deprivation and civil war,
they want what money can’t buy and their souls seek,
Not to be your refugees, nor to wash in pails of pity,
but at home, be it lush or arid,
to rest easy, and sip long-lasting peace;
For such, you might join Chretien in discussion with Putin
if just to mention Al-Assad who apparently would
with rabid hunger, devour people he ought to keep safe,
encouraged by Iran, Russia and China,
and various other silent – ahem! – partners.