Monday, April 01, 2013

Cheri Babajian: Miles of Dirt and Sand

Forced across miles of dirt and sand
Singed not only the soles of their feet on the land,
But sent shock waves of pain deep into the souls
Of men, women and children, forced into roles
That none had chosen but at gun point coerced,
Pushed along in terror, parched in thirst,
Watched in horror as loved ones no longer stand
From murderers’ hands or the stark stinging sand.
Parents screamed as their children collapsed,
And cried out in desperation unable to grasp
That Hell had opened up right at their feet
In the faces of Turkish soldiers intent on defeat
Of the Armenian people…a true genocide.
While a generation of youth and intellectuals died
For no other reason than their ethnicity
Hatred so vile—no empathy!
Scientists, scholars, poets and more
Captured, tortured-- wiped out at the core.
The nightmare returns as I sleep in my bed
A comfortable place where I lay my head
In soft and warm bedding until the scene comes again
As I see my tribe bleeding …I see Turkish sin.
I feel myself walking across hot desert sands
Parched, weak and frail, it is hard to stand.
I am angry with every gasp of air that I breathe
And feel protective of all of my brethren I see.
As I choke on the dust from the dirt and debris
I wonder why no one has set my people free.
I see beautiful children slaughtered by grown men.
Innocent young ones unable to defend
Themselves, as their parents have already died
On the blood soaked trail of deceit and lies.
I gasp for air as my lungs search for more
And awaken confused and away from the horror.
Stand up and demand that the truth will be known!
All nations, all people must take hold and own
Their past, their present and their future too.
No immunity from truth, for me or for you.

Copyright Cheri Babajian 2013. This poem appears on APP with kind permission of the poet.


Hannah Andersen said...

This poem is like a battle cry for remembrance and truth--Inspiring and poignant!

Cricket Babajian said...

"Miles of Dirt and Sand" is so powerfully heartrending and moving. Cheri has tapped the Armenian collective with truth and brilliance. As I read her poem, I had tears of sorrow for my people. However, I also felt joy in my heart; there are Armenians such as Cheri who confront our dark history with inspiring creative light.