By any other name
Tuesday, 16 July 2024 04:03

By any other name

Published in Poetry

By any other name

by Stuart McFarlane

Now the school of semantics is fully enrolled,
we begin to believe the lies we’re being sold.
‘Proportional response’, ‘Collateral damage’.
‘It’s a situation we feel we can manage’.
Politicians, as ever, so sensible,
queue up to defend the indefensible.
The Israelis freely act without constraint.
The Americans continue to urge restraint.
Schools, housing, hospitals; all are destroyed,
yet, still, euphemistic terms are employed.
Artillery posts now even have trouble
finding a building to reduce to rubble.
And, as Gaza withers, festers and rots
the diplomats tie themselves up in knots.
‘Not a ceasefire, a humanitarian pause’.
Treating the symptoms, not the underlying cause.
But Israel miscalculated, and crossed a red line,
in denying the idea of a Palestine.
For an idea does not so easily die;
all the dead children of Gaza so testify.
How can the fighting now ever cease?
There’s not the faintest prospect of peace.
By conducting such a senseless war
they've only ensured centuries more.
You can justify anything, if you try hard enough
but, deep down, do we realize, it’s all so much guff.
So, don’t pretend, as you kill, wound and maim,
it's not murder; by any other name.