50: Death Mask – Forming

Like a ghost upon the battlements, who will not rest until his revenge is secured, I pace the news­rooms and websites, TV sites and message boards, spying out the evil of this world.

For I will bear witness to it. It has become my duty. These are my times, and I am ashamed of them. My visage scowls within with such a rage of withering witnessing, that were that scowl trans­ferred to flesh and muscle without, it is that visage that would be viewed by the world who marvels that such a man could exist, or bear to be seen by others in such a horrid condition of distress. For however intense the suffering of he who witnesses, his pain is such a small slice, a flimsy nothing when compared to the deep, deep suffering that others heap upon others, that it may be regarded, in the ultimate ledger, as a mere scratch, a moment’s glimpsing of failed humanity. It is but a blink of awareness that is a useless prize, for what now for him, for me, who witnesses? Where is the tribunal that will hear our plea for those who suffer, where the judge whose mighty gavel can beat out new orders for the guilty to obey, to cease, to cast aside their cruelty?

We are powerless against those powers who will have their way today, and tomorrow, and all the tomorrows of that tomorrow, until the end of time, it seems. If only the shame of it could be moulded to a new power that could avenge the inhumanity of it and deliver a righteousness for all, for everyone oppressed, for even the slightest harm, for the single tear that dries on a child’s cheek.

We, who do not do these things, should pool our shame and raise a cry so potent that the earth will shake its vengeance.

But no … the reality of it is impotence, power­lessness and a permanent sickness of the soul that pulls and rends and lays my startled thoughts like little bits of wet bandage upon the death mask of this world. Such sorrow, such sorrow.


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