Forgetting 2019 – A Poem

Asylum seekers wait to be searched to a US Border Patrol facility in July 2019. (Photo: via AJE)

By Richard Falk

asphalt rain

darkens green fields


flares Amazon skies

fake leaders slithering

toward real dangers

hither and yon

seek safe havens

gated nations

hiding from truth

screaming ‘no’

migrants fleeing despair

pleading ‘please’

hiding from evils

Aung San Suu Kyi

defending genocide

this fallen Nobelist

broadcasting abroad

her deadly message

two centuries ago

Walt Whitman

arrived in our midst

singing aloud


of America’s future

later lost to predators

seizing their loot

robbing the land

turning dreams

to wilting flowers

our grief becomes

a betrayed destiny

tainted at birth

natives driven

off their sacred land

of holy innocence

the trusted voice

of Toni Morrison

is gone not lost

if we listen

if we listen

if we listen

all not yet all

lost futureless

nested eggs contain

our only hope

of what may yet come

of what to renounce

let’s start with gold

then learn not to hate

keep love joy truth

if we listen

if we listen

if we listen

first then act

– Richard Falk is Albert G Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Research Fellow, Orfalea Center of Global Studies. He was also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights. 

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