Ink is a sorry balm for the bruises of injustice

Sharpened sabres rise

Cutting down the vulnerable and displaced.

We wring our hands

Wag our impotent pens

Judging deeds as Atrocities.

The heat of the hell-bent

Evaporates watery words


We fire our fury in the binary forge

Stamp it red-hot and smoking against

Our pixel-seared, info-fattened hearts.

Flinch, damned, deadened muscle!

Twitch! Stir!

Bear witness to the chaos

Do something!

Shuddering in blue light

We write

Fingers poised,

Converting disgust to data.


“The pen is mightier than the sword,”

Said no butcher ever.

Tell it to the daughters of Chibok

And the swollen corpses of Yazidi toddlers.

Present your gold-plated nib

To the mothers who wail

For sons shot out of the sky.

Ink is a sorry balm for empty arms.


We lend our words

They rend our peace

Tatter the pages of  our freedoms

Trample the ashes of innocence.

Our outrage stumbles along, manacled

A captive in their glory parade.

They bask in our indignation

Goad the planet’s conscience

Fidget with waning attention

Escalate the evil.


“Brutes! Heartless barbarians!”

Digitized accusations

Hurled across the ether.

In city squares they

Volley with innocent lives.

We spatter ink

They spill blood

The heads of babes roll at our feet.


Ink saves no one.

But it is a balm for the world-weary

Word-woven lullabies

Sublimating the horror

A potent elixir


Load the pen with crimson ink

Compose a Song for the Slain

Etch in eternity

The epitaph of the wicked

In this, the pen is mightier than any sword

Ink, a balm for the bruises of injustice.


© Alison Stegert | Spilling Ink 2016 All Rights Reserved


Image Credit: Angel’s Prayer, by Bruno
 CC BY-SA 2.0

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