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Monday, August 01, 2016


by Bruce Dale Wise

After more than five years of war, Syrians appear to be using the wildly popular Pokémon Go in a desperate effort to draw attention to their country’s conflict. . . . They’re holding paper signs with pictures of Pokemon characters, and calling on people to save them. “I am in Kafr Nabl on the outskirts of Idlib, come and save me,” one sign says, echoing phrases on a handful of others. It’s unclear who, or what group, was behind the images. But they bear the logo of the RFS, which is self-described online as the Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office that “reports on the Syrian revolution professionally and objectively,” according to its Twitter account. It appears to be affiliated with the Syrian opposition. The images were also circulated by other accounts affiliated with the opposition, which has been fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime since 2011. “I never imagined we would like to become a game in order to gain the world’s attention,” a Twitter account called Children of Syria posted on Wednesday, with the pictures of the children. —, July 21, 2016

"I am from Kafr Nabl in Idlib," the placard said.
"Come save me from the horror of the Syrian Bomb Squad."
For more than five long years the war in Syria has gone.
"O, come and help us if you can. Come save us, Pokémon."
"Let us be free from misery and all this violence—
Bashar Assad, Islamic State, and deadly Nusra Front."
But there beside the bombed out building boarded up with boards,
a boy sits by a Pokémon with tears as large as gourds.
It's but a picture in a picture—worth a thousand words;
and overhead the barrel bombs fly with the thunderbirds.

Bruce Dale Wise is a poet and essayist who writes under various charichords (anagrammatic heteronyms). The creator of new poetic forms, like the tennos (10 lines of iambic heptametre), his publication credits include magazines and ezines under his own name and various pseudonyms. This tennos is an example of his docupoetry.