Friday, September 12, 2014

Peace in Bosnia Herzegovina (Allen Ginsberg, 1993)

General Mother Teresa
Emperor Dalai Lama XIV
Chief of Staff Thich Nhat Hanh
Army Chaplain John Paul II

followed by the shades of Ghandi
Sakharov, Sartre & his uncle
Albert Schweitzer

went to the bombed out streets
talked to Moslem Bosnians in
the burnt out grocery stores

parlayed with Croatian & Serbian Generals & Parliament

asked them to quit shooting & firing
artillery from the mountainside

overlooking villages
emptied of grandmothers --

So now there was quiet -- a few fires
smoldered in back alleys

a few corpses stank in wet fields
-- But who owns these houses? The
cinema theatres with broken doors?

Who owns that grocery store, that City Hall,
that windowless school with broken

Who owns these little apartments, now
all worshippers of Allah

pray in towns besieged 100 miles away
overcrowded in tenements & tents, with
UN portosans at the crossroads?

Who owns these abandoned alleys &
drugstores with shattered bottle shards over
the sidewalk & inside the door?

Who'll be the judge, attorney, file
legal briefs,

bankruptcy papers, affidavits of ownership,
deeds, old tax receipts?

Who'll council who lives where in the rubble,
who'll sleep in what brokenwalled hut

in the full moonlight when spring clouds
pass over the face
of the man in the moon at the end of May?

May 6, 1993, 3AM
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997),
poet, icon, prophet