As The Candles Go Out

As The Candles Go Out
The streets of Paris lay quiet now
strewn with flowers and cards
proclaiming in every tongue: I am Charlie,
a pencil held high in the dark night,
the darkest night for many a long year
finds paper once more and words of wit
words of reason, words of condemnation,
words of recrimination and just a very few
final words of reconciliation
resounding with a nothingness that is almost chokingly tangible

cut it with your knife, cut it with your sabre
cut it down with AK47 and rocket launcher
beat that silence breathless, bloodless
lay it waste and let it sink into the dark night
the darkest night for many a long year
in deep dark Africa,

under Nigerian skies
a nation weeps, a people sob
and wail
and moan
and scream
and beg for reason
beg for sanity
they beg to know why
they beg forgiveness and offer their lives for those of their children
taken once again
taken in the night while the candles flicker and fade in the wind
while the bright winter sun lights the Parisian day and no one notices
no one sees; no one hears the whisper of a nation’s broken soul
no one echoes that anguished cry

the day goes on
the story turns another chapter, the page full of hate
and vengeance and justice and I am Charlie
but No-one marches and No-one comes
and No-one speaks the words that ring so true
the speeches that ring oh so sincere
in Africa, under Nigerian skies
on the dark roads haunted by darker minds
paved with children’s corpses
as the candles in Paris go out


5 Responses to As The Candles Go Out

  1. Pingback: As The Candles Go Out | Iain Douglas Kemp Writes – Without Anaesthetic

  2. This is incredible and heart filled. A voice long silent speaks volumes of truth is a brief passage. Welcome back, my Brother. I bow to your brilliance.

  3. Marie Elena says:

    Iain, this is one powerful, emotion-packed, sensitive, beautiful piece. I’m in tears. Welcome back.

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