Not to forgive wasting time
by Al Globus
In 1997, PBS aired an account of the Rwanda genocide entitled "Valentina's Nightmare". It is a documentary detailing her mutilation and the practice of extermination of the Tutsi community living in Nyarubuye. This "killing field" took place in the courtyard of a Catholic Church over a period of few days in April of 1994.
Bodies strewn akimbo across a church yard of sorts,
Only part of Valentina's story;
Hiding in the blood of her family's hacked body parts,
Only part of Valentina lives on.
Only a cog in the gear of man's cyclical genocide,
Rwanda, small part of an old story,
A predictable effect of those in power who lied.
The big, chanted lie
That makes us die,
'There is something less than human'
In those about whom the politico lies.
Will we not ever learn to be deaf to those men?
Who will so mislead, only for power he cries!
Not the first, but hopefully among the very last,
Rwanda's lost children, families torn away, afar
Society's competence shredded beyong recognition past,
Pushing for now and ever, the generations set ajar,
The fabric of life, missharpened, miswoven, its bas relief-
Indelible, inevitable, durable, an ugly and tragic picture.
We will transmute it through learning, through tears of accepted grief,
Making all of life's future, the path to a humane, artful, growing sinecure.
Can we not learn from this cruel seemingly ever contemporary history?
What could we do to fashion, to shape a seemingly soaring seamless story?
We will find a view of the world fashioned by us, the people, leading
Those 'leaders' who are crazed by power in our swelling advance, bringing
To fruition the lure of imagined affection and kindness towards
All who embrace others as separate, yet one, as life's wards,
It is not a choice, rather it is inevitable, as water flows to the lowest level.
Have you ever noticed that men and women, armed, march in uniformity in rank and file,
But in loving they laugh, sauntering arm in arm, each along a branched entralling trail?
Choosing not to know, we can turn our faces away from these grizzly and gruesome vistas.
Cambodia, Vietnam, the holocaust, naming only a few, the predecessors, so many Rwandas
By so doing we, the people, would be co-conspirators in the crime
Instigated by the power crazed politicos. Staying the inevitable time
When life is held precious.
When difference is honored,
When all by loving all of life
Are loved, rather than trapped, by self.
"In remembrance is the secret of redemption". We will look and see squarely
That acts of liars crazed by power turn loved ones into bleached bones, deadly
Machete, gas chamber, imprisonment, especially acts of arrogant indifference.
We will bring those liars crazed by power to a just and blind bar eschewing vengence.
We will not blend justice to satisfy a blood lust springing aremd from grief and loss.
Not that they do not deserve the torture of bearing responsibility's terrible cross,
Rather we do not deserve to live in the certain, secret knowledge that we bent justice
Hypocritically, only to quench our flames set by the acts of sadistic, grasping vice.
Justice must only be used by us to set love's course inevitable, certain and straight,
To ease our spirits, sould, our bodies from the cycle of pain initiating new pain,
Through a humane alchemy, we choose the freeing liberty of fairness in our pain,
Bringing to arrogant, power crazed political liars, justice's corrective might.
June 12, 1997
Al Grobus is a physician with a private practice in Sacramento. He a member of FORA (Friends for Rwanda Association) and has been involved in helping orphans of Rwanda genocide.