Damascus (with Nicholas Gagnier)

On world maps, this
crescent
just attacked
was formerly a home;
those bones were a
house and for
the people
within,
this road was more
than a convoy route.

Collateral damage
is not measured
in numbers here;
it is counted in faces
and that broken space
was a room
where we drank tea
and fell in love
inconveniently
with ideas.

Looking back,
how could we
not aid and abet a
voice which
would not relent,

a choice of words
suggesting we
could be free?

Freedom–
the word, the thought
sterile

and cleaner
than the blood
it needs
to bloom

our hands
reaching for the fruit
hungry
are stained and stink

of iron

Now love
letters become
ciphers

(to destinations
without
address);

the only
optimism
survivors have.

You and I
are fodder
for
history writers
who may be
the only
ones left

***In this one, I am italicized.  Nick liked the idea of the poetry in two voices and was eager to try it out, so I accompanied.  Really enjoyed working with Nick in this piece.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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13 Responses to Damascus (with Nicholas Gagnier)

  1. boomiebol says:

    So many parts of this poem I could pick…very well done.

    • It was a good deal of fun to work with such a strong young voice, so hungry for justice. Wow, this is spreading faster than herpes, isn’t it? Great fun. I like writing with strong poets–makes my brain grow 😉

  2. Trent Lewin says:

    That’s excellent guys. Love letters become ciphers. Think you got a piece of the wind here.

  3. ruleofstupid says:

    This is great – searing stuff. “blood it needs to bloom” a particular stand out.
    Promiscuous Su (one of many monikers you’re earning 😉 ) does it again!
    (I like Nicks as strongly but I don’t know him well enough to be rude yet!)

    • Aw, thanks, Mike. Yep–I am duetting with everyone 😉

      Hope you have taken precautions against PTD with me… Because I am sure I am going to create a poetically transmitted disease–remember if you write with one person, you are writing with every other person they have written with before. The unchecked expansion of mind must in some way be dangerous. Yikes! The implications are dazzlingly delightful–I cannot make them sound like a warning.

      • ruleofstupid says:

        benevolent viral minds
        entwine through unconscious spaces
        susurrate in delicate
        elliptic traces

        I am consonant with you are
        grapheme of me
        we inseparably
        inscribe over mind

        into aether and inhaled
        breath of words re-taled
        as uncountable notes float in
        to one symphony of poetry

        • Oh. My. God. Mike, that is GORGEOUS. I am not even going to reply poetically to that–it is beautiful, whole, and perfect. I hope you post this on your blog so I can gush more.

          • ruleofstupid says:

            Sorry – yes, it bubbled forth and then I had to post it, as you’ve now seen.
            Brains are ace aren’t they – where the flippy-flop heck does it come from! 😀

            • I have no idea where, but if I did, I would probably pull it out of my head and worship it, thereby lobotomizing myself and defeating the purpose entirely. I am glad we have it though, whatever it is and wherever it comes from.

  4. nelle says:

    The only optimism survivors have… nice. The whole sorry mess there is discouraging. Richard Engel stated last night he believes the worst is yet to come. That is not something the average Syrian/Lebanese/Iraqi would care to hear.

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