Because Today Is Just Another News Story

Mohammed Barber

Every day we turn on the news at 8
Every day brings another heartache

Bombs of the battlefield are now placed
In the offices of our elected officials
Intended to turn their bodies into a bloody paste
Though from our warm living rooms and plush armchairs
It doesn’t seem all that bad.

Laws of the land are wilfully broken and ignored
All in the name of upholding our great democracy
That the people and its values have been betrayed
Is an irony lost to most.
But the people have spoken, we are told.

Standing proudly on platforms of unrestrained hate
Today’s leaders are elected to govern over/against the “other”.
Frustrated millions invest in their message, taking the bait
And cast their “X” ballot to express that I, too, despise “them”.
Tinged with self-congratulation we say, thankfully it’s not that bad here.

In what should be a march to celebrate their independent country
60,000 burn flares and chant racist slogans in the name of patriotism,
demanding a return to white pride, to bleach their society
of infidels, Jews, and dark skinned marauders.
Our streets are clean of such scenes, we convince ourselves.

Priced out of living the poor consume putrid meat,
soaked in vinegar and simmered with two lemons,
so their little ones have at least something to eat.
A country, its civilisation and people silently crumble
In some back page of the newspapers, if that.

Bombed to bits and then again to dust,
Thousands are killed and millions left starving
Over a historic power play defined by mistrust.
Though so long as black gold continues to freely flow
Silence is the small price to pay.

Children gunned down in their classrooms,
Their lives ended before they ever began,
The stars of their parent’s eyes doused forever
And our lives, safely distant, continue to resume
Like nothing had ever happened.

Everyday bring another heart ache
Overtaking yesterday’s story
And numbing yesterday’s heart break
Because today is just another news story.

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