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Saturday, April 16, 2016


by Jay S Zimmerman

Civilians are dying in Syria in new indiscriminate attacks despite the “cessation of hostilities” that began on February 26, 2016. One of the deadliest was the government airstrike on the town of Deir al-Assafir on March 31, killing at least 31 civilians, including nine women and 12 children, local civil rights groups and rescue workers reported. Three witnesses told Human Rights Watch that there were no military targets nearby. On April 5, armed groups fired mortars, locally made rockets, and other artillery into Sheikh Maqsoud, an Aleppo neighborhood under the control of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, in likely indiscriminate attacks that killed at least 18 civilians including seven children and five women, and wounded 68, according to the local Sheikh Maqsoud council. —Human Rights Watch, April 12, 2016. Photo: A wounded Syrian receives medical attention at a makeshift hospital, following Syrian government air strikes, on March 31, 2016, in Deir Al-Assafir. Credit: Getty Images.

the dead pile up
wrapped in sheets
sticky with clotted lives
lost in marketplaces
asleep in dreams
cries are the music
of mourning
no end
the song of terror
never resolves
plays through the crying hearts
of the lonely
living among
abandoned scattered
body parts
along dusty streets
children play
until the whistling sound
explodes their eyes
blows them
to the winds

Jay S Zimmerman came to poetry from his life as a visual artist, composing poems to go with his art, finding as much joy in painting with words as with other visual tools. He has recently been published in Three Line Poetry, I am not a silent poet, and Flying Island. He is an artist, photographer, psychologist, social justice advocate.