Inquiry: Estrangement XII – The Poetic Schism of Existence

Credit: The Refuge. Johnathon Campbell Mills. Kyo Gallery

by LJ Frank

This series seeks to understand some of the differing faces of estrangement and the crossroads it approaches for good or ill.

the in-between of relations

lies the mystique –

of two people or two countries

or…of a man and or a woman

and…an invisible deity

the dogmas of power differentiate

while competitive greed saturates

then bleeds

how does one define the appetite of self-worth?

and at what moment does wealth

have enough nourishment

inquired a freelance journalist I was visiting

a while ago

for it was then I became a witness

a kilometer or two from a border crossing,

a native doctor standing in splotches of blood

like a surreal artist’s palette

operating on a patient under a makeshift wall less tent

while a man of spirit shared a blessing from a book

to a nameless woman lying on the ground

her face pale with an emerging estrangement to life

“humanitarian-aide?” a man voiced

but “it’s at a station filling up with gas”

another voice uttered,

and the journalist wrote

under a canopy of canvas

then began to scratch her shoulder

when she noticed

red fluid staining her shirt

she softly mouthed – “die Scheiß”

placed a piece of cloth I handed to her

as a temporary band-aide on the small wound

then adjusted her camera lens

as drops of sweat were mixed with a tear

and an old man with a scar on his neck wore a grin

with the palms of his hands touching each other

passed by the bewildered faces

to assure them of their humanity,

and a sand textured heated wind blew across the terrain

the pungent odor of an immediate past struggle

filled the air with its corrupt fumes

then a mustachioed youth in a soldier like uniform

entered the arena

and displayed the full measure of his self-assured control

but for the rest

such an exhibition was hollow –

is not the impoverished flesh

a violence to the Agnus Dei

while prophets come and go

and translations of ultimate questions become moot

human existence is too brief for too many

for the nervous laughter one hears

comes from the heart caught in the schism –

a believer’s plea is spoken in a local dialect…

I looked at the journalist who said –

“She asked, why is God silent?”

and, the woman’s last gasp is taken,

nodding I give my best wishes to the journalist

she inevitably heads out to cover another story

and as I depart

a volunteer nurse asks no one in particular –

“what do we do with these bodies?”