Thursday, August 2, 2018

Poetry Corner - Haiku


This is one of a series of poems that I wrote for a poetry contest which centers around the topic of male infant circumcision. For my first Poetry Corner, I posted a poem inspired by a Bruce Springsteen song.

This time around I'm going to publish a haiku.

A haiku is a type of Japanese poetry that follows a syllable pattern of 5 - 7 - 5. The idea behind a haiku is that poets have a very limited set of parameters to work with. The effective haiku poet invokes an image, feelings and thoughts. To achieve this, he must choose his words carefully.

To unpack so much with so few words; that is the idea behind a haiku.

Without further ado, the poem:

Circumcision rite
Music, dance, and food, and drink
Blood and pain remain

This haiku was inspired by the picture for this post.

Few Americans know this, but in countries other than the United States and Israel, boys are circumcised at later ages.

Particularly in the case of Islamic countries, boys are circumcised at major ceremonies, where boys are dressed in elaborate clothing and given consolation money and gifts.

Huge parties are held where the boys' circumcisions are "celebrated."

It is similar for Jewish boys, where their parents throw parties with food drink after they have their foreskins cut off.

Who is celebrating?

Who is the party for?

Not for the boys, that's for sure.

While the adults have their party with music, dance, cake and punch, the boys sit there, stunned, trying to process the betrayal that had just occurred.

Look closely at the picture of the Turkish boy in "royal" garb above; there is blood on his hands.

After the party, after the food, after the drinks, the blood and the pain remain.

Even when the blood is gone and the wound is healed, the mental and physical scars, both indelible, remain until the boy's death.

The blood and pain remain until death.

That is curse of circumcision.

Men who resent their circumcision are often told "It was so long ago. How can you even remember?"

A man touches his penis when he urinates, masturbates, makes love and takes a shower. The question is not “How can he remember?”, the question is “How can he forget?"

I end this post by quoting a poem written by Antwone Fischer.

Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?
Who will cry for the little boy?
Lost and all alone.
Who will cry for the little boy?
Abandoned without his own?

Who will cry for the little boy?
He cried himself to sleep.
Who will cry for the little boy?
He never had for keeps.

Who will cry for the little boy?
He walked the burning sand
Who will cry for the little boy?
The boy inside the man.

Who will cry for the little boy?
Who knows well hurt and pain
Who will cry for the little boy?
He died again and again.

Who will cry for the little boy?
A good boy he tried to be
Who will cry for the little boy?
Who cries inside of me.


Muslim boy, about to be circumcised.
All the money in the world
could never buy back
what will be stolen from him.

Related Post:
Poetry Corner - Poor Little Guy

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