by Lawrence JW Cooper, Comox Valley Poet Laureate)

I sit here at four in the morning.
I listen to the news and as a poet I cry.
I cry for the Ukraine, for Judah, for Ireland
for those who have always had to cry
to wash away the pain of injustice,
the pain of losing their sons to war,
of witnessing the abuse of their daughters,
who have been forced to say good-bye to love
because of those who have never, and will never, love.

But today I cry for the Ukraine,
the millions who fell before the Golden Horde,
the millions who were murdered by Stalin,
the millions who died at the hands of the Nazis.
And today I cry for the thousand who once again
face a crazy man celebrated by crazy people
who believe that somehow it is okay to kill people
that human lives do not matter,
that it is okay to force your will on people
just because you can.

For what? Oh god, will we never learn?

So today I cry for the Ukrainian people
who suffer at the hands of another bully,
and for those in Russia and here in this land I love
who look the other way and bow to a madman.

I cry for what is and what is not.
I cry for what was and what was not.
I cry for what will be and what will not.
I cry for those of us who do see, but do not see.
I cry for those of us who have lost their humanity.
I cry for those of us who do not see what we can be.
And I cry for you and I cry for me.

I am a poet.
I feel the pain because I must feel the pain.
And as a poet I cry because I must cry,
so that through my tears
others can see what I see and cry.