Kristjaan's prompt for this national day of mourning in the Netherlands for the victims of the shooting of flight MH-17 is the cuckoo's cry, a haiku by Shiki:
in the coolness
of the empty sixth-month sky...
the cuckoo's cry
Somehow because of the timing, the crime of murdering the passengers and pilots of MH-17 is connected in my mind with the murder of Sierra Guyton, who died this past week in Milwaukee. She was a ten-year-old girl who was shot in crossfire on a playground in her neighborhood. She never recovered from her injuries and was finally taken off life support.Her funeral was yesterday.
My mind somehow can't process it. Each life seems infinitely valuable and precious to me. Its loss immeasurable. And so how to even comprehend the loss of so many at once, hundreds.
Last Friday when I wrote a poem about Sierra Guyton I quoted part of the following poem of Dylan Thomas.
A Refusal to Mourn the Death by Fire, of a Child in London
Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness
And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn
The majesty and burning of the child’s death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.
Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.
It does feel like that to me, like I cannot in any way pretend to know how to mourn such deaths. I guess though that I can write a haiku.
The other day I wrote this one on the theme.
how can the sun shine
breeze still stir the grass and trees
on this profaned field
Here's the one that Kristjaan wrote in response to the cuckoo's cry prompt:
the summer heat
trembles at the horizon -
a cooling breeze
And here is mine today:
in the silence
after the shot, even the air