Dehumanization, or: Apathy

Poetry Partners #149

‘Ear Rock’, a poem by Jeff Lee of ‘Growing Up Boomer’

Mothers’ dreams fly away: a son
lies limp, his fire cold, his flesh—
six-years-old and hardly used—is
ripped and frayed; a daughter,
older—stars and bars on her
fatigues—sees the flash, feels the
killing heat but doesn’t hear the
crushing sound. Metallica pounds
in young men’s helmets, bombs
pummel, F-18’s roar, and tank treads
scream, but all of it is drowned out
by the clinking of fine china cups
on delicate saucers, sitcom
laughter and American Idols,
a beauty’s sigh when a perfect rose
is placed in her perfect hand,
and by throbbing hearts as flat screens
take places of honor on their stands.

A shadorma by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

in order
to dehumanize
the other
one must first
acknowledge their existence
~ most don't get that far

would Western
support for Ukraine
remain firm
if not for
tireless advocacy through 
social media?

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!


List of Poetry Partners

15 thoughts on “Dehumanization, or: Apathy”

  1. Your poem shell shocks and deems the attention needed”

    “Metallica pounds
    in young men’s helmets, bombs
    pummel, F-18’s roar, and tank treads
    scream, but all of it is drowned out
    by the clinking of fine china cups
    on delicate saucers, sitcom
    laughter and American Idols,
    a beauty’s sigh when a perfect rose
    is placed in her perfect hand,”

    but then sadly there’s this:

    “one must first
    acknowledge their existence
    ~ most don’t get that far”

    Thanks for always calling attention to what we don’t want to here D & S

    💔🥲💔

  2. *but all of it is drowned out*

    The saddest reality, those living in a state of war, and nobody remembers them anymore.

    Takes me back to the story of Schindler’s List.
    People living there denied the atrocities happening on their front step.

    If not for activists on the ground particularly and on social media…
    Who will do the work ?

    1. The Nazi propaganda was very clever – they gradually dehumanized the Jews and moved them out of public view over the course of years… and, eventually, the most of the public either didn’t think of them at all or thought of them as subhuman.

      1. Exactly, which you poignantly state

        *One must first acknowledge their existence*

        And right now so many people are disregarded in every corner of the world.
        Who will be their voice, their hands and feet.
        Pervasive Propoganda make us to slumber. We are dead to the condition of the marginalized people.

  3. Stark and terrible images in the first poem – a juxtaposition of war and those not at war. We are like that. We ignore that horror that does not encroach on our individual lives. The second points to the modern way in which our planet has shrunk through social media. At any moment we can have the world pour into our laps – which like hot coffee is hard to ignore and also cause us to spring into action/reaction!

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