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Saturday, March 26, 2016


by Michael Shorb

Image source: Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, a campaign launched by a group of non-violent activists in Raqqa to expose the atrocities committed by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad and by the terrorist extremist group ISIS toward the civilian populations if the city.

The dictator’s weak chin
juts from a billboard as
the beady eyes dare
anyone to smirk or throw
rocks and a town
bakes under a silent sun

a tank rumbles on noisy metal treads
past a solitary leaning palm,
scattered bodies thrown
down on desert sand,
washed to the side of city

when the father
punishing his children
goes insane
the sounds
can be heard
for miles.

Michael Shorb was a poet, fiction writer, editor, and children's book author. As an international poet, his poetry has been published in more than 100 magazines and anthologies, including TheNewVerse.News, Michigan Quarterly, The Nation, The Sun, Salzburg Poetry Review, and Kyoto Journal. He was the recipient of a PEN AWARD, won a Merit Award for the Franklin-Christoph Poetry Contest, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lived in and loved San Francisco. Michael succumbed to GIST, a rare form of cancer in 2012.