It is 10.40pm in Paris and they have taken host­ages at the Bataclan
It is 11pm and some­where on Face­book
a kid posts: “they are killing every­body.
one by one.”
It is 4pm in Mel­bourne and my friend is giving birth
to a little boy named Clancy
but I don’t know that yet.

It is 1am every­where and mothers in Lebanon are still weeping.
It is every hour of every day
and mothers in Palestine
can’t remember when they started weeping
We are all headed to some town in our hearts
where we are going to die, sooner, or later,
where we are dying now in a hail of bul­lets.

Martin Luther King said
that only love can fight hate
but at 10.30am when they are exploding chil­dren
at a school in Peshawar it is so hard
to feel any­thing but des­pair
and in my head there is a radio man who says I am
listening to Los Angeles and in so many ways it’s true
as this offensive parody of Team America’s opening credits
rolls on and I am not so sure any more as
#porteouverte reveals we are all listening
to our own love or hate and tuned in
to the sta­tion that suits us

It is 3am in Paris and I am waiting for loved ones
to check them­selves in as safe in a way
that the friends of Syr­ians have never been able to
It is 5am and the body of a little boy washes up on a beach
and for a minute and a half — rel­at­ively —
we all pay atten­tion to what has been hap­pening
for dec­ades

It is 9am and my partner switches off the radio
halfway through an eye­wit­ness report
and I thank him on behalf of our daughter
who isn’t even in the room at the time

It is 9am and it will be 9am again tomorrow
and there are chil­dren and new babies and new lovers
and some lives go on even though the radio man says
we are all in some way or another
going to Reseda someday to die

 
 
 
(with thanks to Screenwriter’s Blues by Soul Coughing which for some unknown reason started playing in my head this morning, the day after the ter­rorist attacks on Paris)