Monthly Archives: December 2014

“A Voice in the Wilderness” The Ninth in the “Innocent Children” Series

I am a girl of twelve.

I am not a Christian.

I am not a Jew.

I am not a Muslim, either Shiite or Sunni.

But I believe in God, your god.

I believe in Adam. I believe in all the angels.

No one had ever heard of my people.

No one had ever heard our story before.

We have tried to live to ourselves for 6,763 years.

We were different so you punished us.

We were different so you cleansed us from “your” land.

We were different so you killed us and scattered us to the four corners of the earth.

But we are so much the same as you.

I am a twelve year old girl, same as so many twelve year old girls.

Why am I different? I belong to the Yazidi people.

We are a small people living in small villages, keeping to ourselves.

But because we believe in one being different than you,

An angel by the name of Tuwusi Melek, our peacock Angel,

Your murdered us as devil worshippers for over a thousand years.

We just wanted to be left alone, doing no harm to anyone else.

The Turks wanted us to be followers of Islam and when we would not bend our backs we were purged from Syria during the days of the Ottomans. They killed us by the hundreds.

The Turks were not alone.

Though we belonged to the Kurdish people they thought we were not Kurdish enough and our belief in the angel Tuwusi Melek too strange and since he was not in their Book, we must be worshippers of the devil. So again by the hundreds they killed us.

And now as we try to survive a new people have come against us. They killed us by the thousands.

They came into our village.

They murdered my grandfather.

It was my grandfather who shared the stories of the persecution of our people.

It was my grandfather who told us the stories and why we are proud to be Yazidi.

I am a girl of twelve of Yazidi people.

You still don’t know me.

You now only know those who killed grandfather.

They killed my mother and father too.

You only know the monster that caused my brothers and cousins to flee to the mountains.

You only know those who took my sister and me away to their camps.

You only know because I am here to tell you my sister was raped and married off to a monster.

I just want to be twelve again.

I fled from those monsters. I fled upon the rocky earth to the safety of the mountains my feet torn and bleeding.

I kept running because if they caught me they would do worse than rape me.

No one cared about my people when we were attacked by the Turks.

No one cared about my people when the Syrians forced us out of their country.

No one cared about my people when the Kurds attacked us and tried to destroy our culture.

Only when a new group came, a group considered worse than Al Qaeda did anyone care.

A people who lived thousands of miles away cared, not because of my people dying by the thousands but because this group beheaded a couple men from their country.

I am a twelve year old girl.

Now the old men look at me with suspicion, thinking perhaps what happened to my sister happened to me.

The old women in the mountains looked and ensured that I remained untouched.

The old men still look at me with disgust or avert their eyes.

The boys my age…they do not look at me at all.

Why do you hate us?

Why do you attack us?

Why do you destroy what is different?

Why do you destroy what is strange?

Why do you destroy what is unknown?

Why can’t we be left alone?

Why can’t I just be an ordinary twelve year old girl?

When I reached the safety of the mountain passes I heard the stories. Our village was lucky.

Other villages were completely wiped out, lost forever to history.

Men, women, children and babies all butchered.

The babies were pulled out of their mothers’ arms and beheaded in front of them before the women were killed.

Why?

Why do things like this happen?

Why does no one do anything?

I walk around the mountains to get away from the eyes of those who are supposed to love me.

I am escorted by my brothers or cousins or other kin.

They claim to be afraid that I will be stolen away again.

My thoughts thrust me back to that day.

I remember my mother dying and my father shot trying to save her.

I remember my grandfather dying, too slow to flee and dying like a sheep for the slaughter.

I remember being dragged away.

I remember my sister’s screams from the tent next to mine.

They claim to be so righteous, men of God. What God would permit his people to commit such horrors?

The thoughts keep coming back again and again.

At night I can’t sleep because I am there again being pawed at by that old man with his dirty hands.

His eyes and hands so preoccupied that he does not see me grab the fiery piece of wood from the fire pit. My hands burn, blistering with the agony. I do not care as I smash the wood against the man’s head. I drop the burning wood onto the rugs of the tent as I flee. I hear the man’s screams as he and the tent go up in fire.

I hear the screams of the other men as they chase me.

This is the history of our people. A history of death and slaughter, not of our own creation.

In the past we have been put to the sword and in modern times they line up our fathers and shoot in them in the head.

I am twelve years old. I love God. I love my family and I love peace.

We are dying and not just my father and mother but our entire people.

And yet the world stands by and shakes their fist in outrage at the death of a few while we die by the thousands.

I just want to be twelve.

A simple twelve.

An innocent twelve.

Just twelve.

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She is a Drug (2014)

It is a drug.

I need it.

I think about it, in every waking moment.

 

I need it coursing through my veins.

I feel hollow without it.

It is a drug and I don’t want anyone else to touch it.

 

It is my drug.

Mine!

Mine!

No it isn’t.

 

I gave it up.

And when I wanted to feel it again,

it had moved on.

 

Now the drug is scared of me,

can’t handle my emotions,

my crashes,

my needs for it.

 

In the end the drug and I want to be.

And we dance,

but I am a loser at the end of the end of the day.

 

And I just realized that even if I had the drug,

I wouldn’t be able to hold onto the drug.

I would push it away.

 

The drug is finally onto my games.

And knows my veins are not special,

at least not special enough to keep this phantom alive.

 

But it is a drug and I will never be the same.

The drug will always be part of me.

And while it kills me it also keeps me alive.

 

Maybe one day I will be better.

Maybe one day I will be the man,

the drug needs me to be.

And while I push,

And while I pull,

And while I crave her,

more than anything I have ever craved she is lost to me.

 

I am told to relax.

I am told to breathe.

I am told to chill…and I can’t breathe.

 

And so I am in an endless struggle with myself,

a struggle I am losing.

I know one day I will push her away forever.

 

So I know the end of this story.

I know the tears on the page.

I know the end of the story.

I will be called weak.

I will be called selfish.

 

And I know I will not hurt,

And I know I will be in peace,

And maybe in the next life,

The drug will be mine.

And maybe then the tears and blood will stop.

 

 

 

 

Love (2014)

Love is when you ache on the inside

Love is when you could be next to each other

And yet the gap is too wide

 

Love is looking up at the stars

And realizing how far they are away

And how close you are

 

Love is falling asleep

And never wanting the morning to come

Knowing that you will ruin it all

 

Love is all about the little things

The little differences

And the little smiles of knowing

 

Love is passion

Passion is indescribable

But you know both and are never in doubt

 

Love is a light

No matter what the darkness brings

The smallest of light overpowers any darkness

 

 

Love is regret

Knowing that you wish life was different

But parts you would never want to change

 

Love is a tree

It can whether any storm

Its roots are planted in the soul

 

Love is strength

Love is belief

Love is Love

 

In This Trail of Man and Nature

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PAINTING BY STEPHEN BACH

POEM BY MICHAEL MCGARVEY

 

In this trail of man and nature 

The slightest hint of mist touches the light of the stretching lamps

They reach into the night, where darkness holds sway

The light stretches to reveal the peaceful scene below

The harshness of the sharpened gravel that surrounds the thick metal tracks

 

The world of quiet lives here, only touched on its periphery

By the song of crickets in the grasses’ edge

Here peace resides, a lonely and elegant thing

One brought by the dark that the lamps strive to hinder

 

During the time of brightest light this is a world of noise

Loud horns, screeching brakes and the calls of porters, a place of man

Here in the dark it all fades away on the wings of a moth

Little things that stare at the light and do not appreciate the darkness

 

Just around the bend the light is brighter still

The station standing in silent watch

Awaiting its usefulness and the promise of the dawn

Its brightness adding to define the limits of the darkness

 

At this convergence of man and nature

Where man has cut a swatch through the heart of nature

A place of lumbering machines and the scurrying of man

In the night nature returns to hold sway

 

In this trail of man and nature

As we remember those we lost this year at this special time of year

We all come to the time again when we say goodbye to these people known and loved and to those who did not have anyone to love them. We come from different parts, different lives, different worlds but we all know one thing. Those who have died now have broken through the veil, been raised to the kingdom and is now in the bosom of Christ our Savior and Lord. We know that they wait for us there and while we miss them on this world, we all know that the future for each of us will be with them, in our Lord’s kingdom.

To quote the great Christian writer, C.S. Lewis “And He (God) welcomed them home and the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write or say them. And for them this is the end of all the earthly stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it is only the beginning of the real story. All their lives in this world had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they are beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

 

Love Always,

Michael