Her ancient cedar heart

Arvin Gumato Pareja
Edited by R. B. Johannessen


Into the blazing stillness of grief...echoes,
echoes of mournful dread that bring forth anguish
in every living creature.


Lives lost behind another veil: gray, shadowy memories,
that haunt the living. The future bleak, uncertain;
the past shattered. Blank stares. Numbness.
There is no turning back to a time before this.

The horror will carve eternal pathways in those beings
who witnessed the bloody times that smothered hopes and lives.
That furious fire extinguished, this crushing war will be remembered,
but the frozen, inner landscapes, the sense of doom, muted,
muted beyond silence.

The stricken nation, perplexed, reeling from shock,
sinks into helplessness, hunger and disease.
The world heard a heartrending, ill-omened scream,
piercing the delicate web of existence. It now listens
to the stunned silence that came afterwards.


And why did it happen? -Same reason as always.
No matter how deep you go, how many layers you must cast aside,
it always comes down to this: Power!

Manipulating the commoners, beacons of Holy Correctness
used priestly kindness to sham and to deceive,
to serve the high & mighty. -Tender hopes,
dreams and aspirations shattered in the process.


Let us not be blinded by our faith.
Yet if clerics start reciting that ancient Exodus of yore,
the ruthless deceit may prove too strong.

And to those who knowingly consent, accepting priestly counsel:
they must share the blame. -Let them be haunted,
haunted by the souls whose hearts they broke!


But do we care? -Yes, more than ever!
And as the stricken nation slowly flickers and fades,
the warmth within us kindles new hopes in her ancient cedar heart.

The 2006 Lebanon War: The conflict killed over a thousand people, mostly Lebanese civilians, severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure, and displaced approximately one million [people].

Illustration: http://www.juliussuber.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/cedars-of-lebanon.jpg


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