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Speaking? Words? Where once I sang?

Perspective: Letter

by James Meredith Day, Bruxelles le 2 mars 2015.

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2015 at 08:22 PM UT


Introduction

A friend and colleague, Professor James Meredith Day, wrote the following poem, after we discussed the terrible situation our Assyrian people in Syria and Iraq are facing. Professor Day is a scholar from Harvard University as well as Cambridge University, today working and teaching at Universite Catholique de Louvain. In his work he focuses on the development of cognitive complexity and its relationship to moral problem-solving and religious experience. He is also in his clinical work conducting individual and couple therapy. Professor Day is an ordained priest in The Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion.

Önver Cetrez
Senior Lecturer, Psychology of Religion and Cultural Psychology, Uppsala University
Deputy Director of The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul

Related Information

WikiLeaks: 2009-03-05: 09BAGHDAD578: Iraq's Minorities

WikiLeaks: 2009-06-14: 09BAGHDAD1545: Ambassador Hill Meets with Minority Political Leaders

WikiLeaks: 2008-12-15: 08BAGHDAD3926: HJC Rejects Effort to Reform Personal Status Law

WikiLeaks: 2008-08-21: 08BAGHDAD2688: Ninewa: Assyrian Christian Leaders Discuss Political and Security Concerns, and their Disdain for Islam

WikiLeaks: 2008-03-08: 08BAGHDAD691: PRT Ninewa: Mosul Museum, Closed and with a Limited Collection, Still Impressive

WikiLeaks: 2007-06-21: 07VATICAN99: Iraq: Christians Fleeing Forced Conversions

WikiLeaks: 2007-04-26: 07BAGHDAD1425: Baghdad Christians Say Insurgents Displacing Christians in Doura, Coalition Patrols Doura

WikiLeaks: 2006-06-29: 06KIRKUK121: Assyrian Leaders on Article 140, Security

WikiLeaks: 2006-05-02: 06ANKARA2387: Turkey: Diyarbakir Syriacs Threatened, Local Imams Encourage Anti-Christian Sentiment

WikiLeaks: 2005-04-08: 05ANKARA2061: Religious Freedom - a Weak Link in Turkish Reform

WikiLeaks: 2003-05-14: 03KUWAIT2033: Reported Losses at Northern Sites: In Search of Nimrod's Gold

Speaking? Words? Where once I sang?

In the Mosul Museum they are desecrating treasures,
hacking to pieces the statues, symbols, images,
and memory, of my people.

No past, no future?

What am I to say?
Do you expect me to speak?

They have taken away our sisters,
Our mothers, our lovers, our wives.

My friends are gone.
My father is dying, of sorrow.

They have murdered my brothers,
And burned the churches where they found them.

Where is the God we spoke to, there?
In those churches,
Turned to rubble, and ash.
The bodies of the priests, scorched and dismembered, rot,
Their bones bleach, already, in the sun,

What is it, to speak, then?

Before, I knew what speaking was,
How to utter words, read gestures,
Talk, listen, keep quiet, at just the right times.

How to dance, with turns, and movements, with the music,
And inflections, of phrase.

What am I to say, now?
Do you expect me to speak?

We are who we talk to.
They are gone.
I am nothing, but a parched mouth,
an empty heart, chattering,
Where once, I sang.

-- James Meredith Day
Bruxelles le 2 mars 2015.



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