Poetry Corner – Pieta – By George Capaccio



Artists, they counsel,

take all that anger building up in you

and use it

to make something beautiful

for the world to wear

or otherwise possess.



They say, of course you’re angry.

Look how Bush ignored our marches,

our passionate words,

and went to war anyway

against a broken army

and a worn down people.



Aesthetics, they say,

is the path.

Turn your rage

into wood, clay or stone,

into words and movement,

into play.



Whatever the material,

work it with the tools of your trade.

Pummel, gouge, chip away

at the block of anger

blocking your way.



Very well then

I shall make a pietà

not of marble nor of stone

but from a child’s broken body

and the shrapnel in his bones,

from his mother’s blood-drenched abaya

and her weeping all alone.



From her heart the deepest sorrow

shall illuminate her eyes

as she so gently cradles him

in the folds of a low lament,

and whispers over

and over again,



Here then is my rage

now become a thing of beauty,

sign and symbol

of what my country has done.



Not Mary with crucified son,

but a stricken Iraqi woman

with child upon her lap.



In his eyes she sees

a final flash of memory,

and now his life is past.


George submitted this poem for the 11th Station of the Cross as Agape’s annual witness in front of the State House. An advocate for the Iraqi people, George saw the effects of sanctions first-hand, and, as a Christian, he writes: “I see their suffering as a form of crucifixion perpetrated by the West.”


March 2015, Physicians for Social Responsibility Report on The War on Terror since 9/11.


“1 million people killed in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million since the invasion of Iraq. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.”



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