An Insignificant Response


I think I heard on the local news

That some of us are going

In addition to the national aid

That I hope is on its way

The UN and EU are already there

With the UK and Russia

The numbers keep increasing

The dead and wounded

Hospitals, themselves damaged,

Are working at more-than-full


There is broken glass and blood

All over the city

Like a shining sheet, say

Those who are there

Many miles away,

The blast was heard

Followed by a sonic wave that

Literally knocked people

From a standing posture down


It was a mushroom cloud

For a non-nuclear blast

A little prophecy at work

There are protests

In anger at what happened

Drawing police with tear gas

And rubber bullets

I used to think that could only happen

In another nation from people who

Fear their grip on power

But we have followed precedent

In self-styled, hoped-for despotism

So that

Everything that’s helpful is delayed

Well, we’ll get there, too


And I hope we stay there for a while

To help, most of all

Maybe to learn something, too

About our global neighbors

About the sheen of darkened glass

That covers us

Dusting by laying dust

Over our light

An experiment in democracy

For a few centuries, now

That can’t help but be a model

One way or another


Pray, help Lebanon

Let your angels work in Beirut

It is a sectarian

Sometimes the Christian fight the Muslims

Sometimes it goes the other way

Now, it should not matter

And, inshallah, it should not matter

Ever again


C L Couch



By Oren Rozen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Tel Aviv City Hall, 5 August