NORTHERN EXPOSURES

1.
Anders Behring Breverick,
disguised as a policeman,
was horrified
the Muslim horde
from flooded Asia
& drought-ridden horn of Africa
would overrun Norway:
he descended on the youth camp
& mowed the future politicians
down…
He must put a stop
in his delirious moments
the toxic flood of migrants.
& how his message
reverberated throughout the land!
Was he on drugs?
Was he a clinical case?
He had gone deep
into Adolf Hitler’s dikta:
always a gas chamber
stays in the mind
of the sons of Aryan,
the final solution
most permissible,
most welcome.

2.
Fronting the Oslo cathedral
is a blanket of flowers
for the slain & the grieving:
in a country where
policemen patrol the streets
without guns,
the carnage was a firecracker
exploded in the eyes:
stunned, paralyzed
like a bullet in slow mo…
Survivors had leaped into the water,
feigned dead,
hidden behind rocks,
run into the woods
texting for help
while rescuers had been stalled
on the way
by lack of boats & choppers…
Bureaucracy froze in its tracks,
in a country
never accustomed
to equatorial bloodbath.

3.
They open doors
to different cultures
as if it were tradition.
They won’t step back,
terrorists won’t dictate
their future act,
ministers assure:
But how could such tragedy
happen?
O never since the Nazis
has the spectacle occurred!
How could a snow-bound
setting
cultivate an oven-hot
citizen
who fatally went out of line?
When shall survivors
pick up the pieces,
go on with their lives?
O some spirit
of a werewolf
has moved out of the woods
& into the living rooms!
Does the spectre of Eichmann
roam the land?

4.
Norwegians love
to hunt:
forest denizens
are fair game
to their fancy shotguns .
Now,
it’s their children’s turn
to be moving prey
of their bloodthirsty kind.
Have the collective ghoul
of dead animals
returned from the dark side
to exact vengeance?
The stench of the carcass
haunts the hunter
who bares his white teeth
while being photographed —
their fat children
shrieking with glee
at the bountiful catch.

5.
Of course, things change.
Skinheads have initiated
the game plan
to wipe the ethnics out,
drawn the final ending
of the imaginary story
never to let Islamic militants
grow roots
in the polar cusp.
Today, therefore,
must be seen in a new,
purified light.
Will there be still children
gamboling in the playground?
The air is frostier now.
“We don’t scream.
We mourn in peace,”
says a mother
whose daughter survived
by hiding behind rocks.
They don’t wear emotions
on their sleeve.
Always, a dark stranger,
his coat billowing in the wind,
lurks in the distance…

6.
“We shall not change
our way of life;
We shall keep open
the doors:
terror cannot push
us back,”
sum up the ministers
who comfort all
who offer tears & flowers
in a dead zone
where lingers the shadow
of the holocaust.

7.
Is it the medieval crusade
all over again
when knights templar
held the “infidels”
at bay?
The balding assassin wore
the silver armor
of the seeker of the Holy Grail,
consecrated by his notion of God
to “murder & create”.

8.
But Denise Levertov
sees it not “burden”
but “as a gift…a basket
of bread that hurts
[her] shoulders
but closes [her] in fragrance…”
O will memory
be a gentle wind
to dry up tears?
Or a heavy stone
to lug around 24/7?
Yet they must move on,
the grief-stricken,
in the icy air
lest they freeze, expire.

9.
In Manila,
no one could be bothered:
it chronically
happens
like a daily nightmare.
Nobody shakes his head
in shocking disbelief:
it’s, after all, a common
spectacle.
As if to signal
everyday struggles
to earn a pittance
have collective eyes
barbarously shut down.

10.
But cynics chorus:
O we have our own
dreary concerns —
who can see beyond the nose
close to the grind stone?
It is, of course,
fit for Breaking News,
but hey!
We have our own
Maguindanao assault.
Do we dare reach out?
Do we dare compare
the odious?
Do we dare break down
the walls?
Do we dare step into the
blinding light
& look beyond
the mangy rat holes?
The world, alas,
keeps on turning
like a carousel,
but do we plug our ears
to hear nothing,
even a whimper?

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