I’ve written before about Shari Eppel, a Zimbabwean human rights activist I met last November in Orvieto, Italy. Shari has worked tirelessly the past 16 years to document, counter and stop the abuses of the Mugabe regime.
She’s also a poet.
Here is her latest, which she shared with other members of this year’s class of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and gave me permission to post here.
LIBYA: 22 February 2011
Gadaffi furls and unfurls his umbrella
a giant albino bat’s wing
in the desert
where it never rains
bombs hail down from the sky
shredding pale flesh to lace…
red tear drops splatter
on the desert’s face
in this frail fight for freedom
where people scream unheard into radio silence
and hospitals try to contain the pain.
Tell the world, the crying doctor implores,
he is killing the innocent –
we who want peace, only peace
and outside it storms, it storms
bullets thunder and flash
fires glow as buildings fall
-can you hear it, can you hear?
Ash blows, and bodies are laid below.
The madman flails his fists
rails at the ‘dogs’ of truth
declares his joy at being still here
where pain rains down
and the world can only gaze in awe
offering as little hope
as a white silk umbrella
to those who wring their hands at the skies.