Arsiema Berhane

Rookie - 0 Points (March 10,1920 / Asmara, Eritrea)

A Contemporary World


A crowd of people were staring
At the cold dead body
That was lying in the street.

Cops and cars, cars and cops,
Cops and cars and more cars and cops
Were all over.
And the light from the police cars
That was blinking
Made the scene look like
some kind of bistro.

He was so young,
the dead man on the floor
And I thought life was too short for him,
To die at this age.
I'd no idea where he lived,
no idea what he did
But something in his face
Seemed innocent and saintlike.

Suddenly,
A question formed in my mind
And I shot it to the crowd,
saying 'Why? '
'Why did they shoot him? '
I asked
But no one answered,
They just stared at me
And turned their faces back to the dead body.
Their look was so scary.

But then…,
'Maybe they think the world
Is a better place, '
An old woman said,
'Without him.'

31.1.06

Submitted: Friday, February 03, 2006
Edited: Monday, February 20, 2006

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Comments about this poem (A Contemporary World by Arsiema Berhane )

  • Rookie - 92 Points C. P. Sharma (4/1/2010 8:54:00 AM)

    Great irony. Perhaps he is better without this world.
    CP (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Lidia Yeibio (8/23/2006 2:30:00 PM)

    Dear Arsi, This poem really touches. This is my favorite. I could see the picture and hear the sirens. Please keep on writting more, Arsi!
    Cheers (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Will Barber (7/4/2006 3:24:00 PM)

    A well-written, moving poem. The descriptions are quite vivid. The twist at the end gives rise to MANY thoughts. Thank you for this. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anjana Aravind (5/29/2006 1:36:00 AM)

    An interesting poem. I do feel so bad about what we have made of this world. It was so good in the beginning.

    Anjana (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Brian Dorn (4/20/2006 10:51:00 PM)

    What a sad statement to justify anyone's death... very blunt, but good write!
    Brian (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Julia Klimenova (3/27/2006 12:49:00 PM)

    Sometimes when I relax and think life is quite tolerable, I like someone to shoot such a question at me. Thanks for doing it. Julia (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Anna Russell (3/7/2006 4:55:00 AM)

    Harsh and honest - just the way I like them! A great write, simple and very powerful.
    Hugs
    Anna xxx (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Scarborough Gypsy (2/9/2006)

    A very haunting poem. Great imagery. Well written.

    Love
    Gypsy (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Charles Chaim Wax (2/3/2006 7:13:00 AM)

    a very powerful poem
    the death so real
    and the stares
    through the body
    hurting the poet's heart
    finally
    the brutal words
    to end
    a fine poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Peter A. Crowther (2/3/2006 6:51:00 AM)

    Another excellent poem, Arsiema. It has a dreamlike quality; in fact it could be an account of a dream. Did you dream it? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 233 Points Uriah Hamilton (2/3/2006 6:18:00 AM)

    A really good poem, Arsiema, we all must do our best to make sure the world is not a better place without us! ! (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »

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