I made the mistake-or was it-of posting this recently. Almost immediately discourse deteriorated into unpleasantness. No wonder I’m reluctant to employ my voice or post anything remotely political. Navigating such a complex, polarized information landscape is fraught.

First there was a disagreement about the authenticity of the photo, which is fair enough. Then a sort of pissing contest ensued about who was the most well-informed, or least indoctrinated.

It appears to me there is little possibility of rational discussion, or a ceasefire, or the unimaginable therefore unattainable, peace.

What breaks my heart most is that despite our potential, human beings are seemingly incapable of true advancement. It’s all so fucking sad.


The podcaster with a legion of followers?
The journalist who’s been there,
face etched by the sun of that distant land?
What of the emigrant decrying the place,
or at least, its right-wing government?

Is it the loudest voice that holds the truth?
Or the one armed with the sharpest wit,
slicing through arguments with precision?
Is it the one drawing the most poignant,
heart wrenching analogies:
“World’s largest concentration camp.”

The optimists, pessimists or realists?
All claim to know the facts,
seemingly own the facts. Clarity.

Censors lurk, eager to snuff out every voice,
mute dissent, but still, we hear. Listen.

Exactly who are the indoctrinated?
Who wields oppression’s heaviest hand?

No one agrees as debates
devolve into discord none can flee
while sidestepping the vital teachings
of forgotten epochs,
flames ignited in a terrain
rife with deceit and harsh decrees.
I wonder how to mine hope from the mire.

Complexities abound in every human heart,
our aim not to unfurl hate
but to envision a world rooted in empathy.

Can I hear a gentle word?
Is there room for a kind gesture?

I cast my lot with truth,
however elusive.
Weariness creeps
into the wait for illumination,
the vigil for the dawn
of a new era.
A new beginning.

5 thoughts on “WHO TO BELIEVE

  1. Stupidity which presently wears the respectable garb of politics, used be local and containable, but now it’s global and put on blast thanks to internet. Will it be mankind’s undoing? Chances look more disturbing every day, when will someone fire off a dirty bomb and turn the tables or worse. Stupidity, who would have thunk?

  2. Hi Heather. I love the post by Malcolm X. And your poetry. I think discord might be necessary and not as an evil, but as a tool for education. The truth is we are all different people, with different upbringings and different access. I find it interesting to ask people why they hold the positions they hold. But I once heard a wise woman say, “When people decry right wing hateful positions, I don’t try to educate them or tell them they are wrong. I simply feel and rarely state outloud, “Get out of the way.”

    1. There’s discord and then there’s vitriol. Hate. Hate I find disturbing. Believe me, I don’t waste my breath trying to educate or inform anyone. This is a kind of railing at the universe poem. Lovely to hear from you, thanks.

  3. “What breaks my heart most is that despite our potential, human beings are seemingly incapable of true advancement. It’s all so fucking sad.”
    It breaks my heart too. But not just stupidity, denial, self-serving motives, but something called ‘cowardice’ in the face and facts of it all. That is sad. Headed for extinction, unless the next gens step in, and do it soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *