for Daniel Pearl
An insoluble grain stimulates nacre
shields an oyster’s tender flesh
from pain, creating the splendor of a pearl.
Thus suffering is lodged in the heart
of the world’s beauty.
Communicating “as if conducting an interview”
he never suspected the story
featured his assassin until a few quick strokes
sketched his throat a plum colored tulip
and his powerless head fell like a petal.
Wide eyed at the final instant
did he understand the debt of red-ink
pooling in his lap?
The camera he had hoped would credit
a ransom scooped him. He was
the last edition of himself. Reduced
to ciphers now he is “The Jew”, “The Journalist”
“the American” and finally, “the patient”
in a straight-to-video snuff film. The ‘doctors’
mock his wife, compounding bitter ironies
from gall, inoculating their own hearts
from grief. Because they cannot claw
pilots from the sky, they kill
whatever they can catch in the rocks..
Had he no notion how murders
to which others had signed his name
condemned him? Not know that rocks of Nablus
and Ramalla were aimed at his own forehead?
That stealing a kernel from a beggar’s bowl
can be a capital offense if money
is discovered in your pocket?
His employer relinquished his computer
to “authorities” at home and the neutral colors
of his press-pass turned catch-me crimson
the word “ENEMY” appeared
across his small laminated ID. Men
milking poppies, deemed his life
an overdue bill,
resented the shade he cast on the goat
they had staked for slaughter. Thirsty
for blood-offerings they calculate both
of equal worth.
And the world’s riches pass from hand to hand
and the hand of each giver shadows
for an instant, the hand of each receiver
and passes that darkness along with what is sought.
The sharp curse of the cutting grit disguised
transmitted through time, an accumulating
Causes Peter Coyote Supports
The Global Security Institute, Native Sovereignty Issues, Wild Earth( Natural Corridors Program),