Posted by: Indonesian Children | June 17, 2009

POEMS FROM THE WORLD : As the Children Sleep



as the children sleep,
a son blows the desert
from his M-16, wondering
if maybe this time
the bullet will find
him, this big push into
that city; the fear seen before
in his buddies eyes now
honed into a certain numbness,
peering out white against
greased faces,

as the children sleep,
other wide black stares glint
from slanting moonlight,
four pairs listening, in darkness,
huddled in a lower level room, refusing
earlier warnings to evacuate,
sandbags & blankets their only shield

as the children sleep, mega ton
metal machines prowl and grind
back into sand what’s left
of the pavement, taking
position and aim,
night vision leering
between rubble
heaps made that morning,
the air attacks splitting
their targets—where’s
the enemy now,

as the children sleep,
a disoriented pet sniffs
and whines at the changed
landscape, terrain weeping
leaks of its recent rape—
gas, sewage, burnt flesh,
wondering if this spot
was its home, its teeth
now tugging a familiar
red shred of clothing,
wedged between a roof
upon a flattened bed,

as the children sleep,
hunkered inside tanks trembling
fingers push pen against paper,
finding words fit enough
to be the last, as glossy photos
smile back love, are kissed,
then pressed against
beating hearts, while stomachs
wretch and bowels contract,

as the children sleep, confused
and clever insurgents scatter
or rally, firing RPG’s into
their dark perimeter, warding off
the great satan and beheading
those only wanting
to help or tell
the story as the children sleep,

as the children sleep, one bent man
under the rounded white dome prays,
grieving but believing what’s brighter,
for hearts and minds not to fear fear,

of dismayed decimation of Arab blood
deciding to die in that city
we took to give back, give back
its breathing
for a holier day, beginning today
through choke of smoke and
booby-trapped bodies

of tyranny and desperate minds
for meaning, for god, for recompense
of what they never had and cannot
now ever know—the cost, the cost,

the cost, as the children sleep
and dream dreams because they sleep
nor weep the weep that seeps and seeps
in that other land we stole not to keep,

but to burn the phoenix’ path
to rise high beyond our occupation,
beyond despots and dictators
who exterminate generations
that resist them,

but cannot defeat forever the
longing of another way, Oh souls
of our global brothers and sisters,
we have heard your cry—we too
have known your bondage, for
‘tis this savagery we hope to kill,
as the children sleep,

as the children sleep and dream
dreams because they sleep and do
not weep the weep that seeps and
seeps in your land,
as our children
sleep… in America

Darrell Rohling



Supported  by

Yudhasmara Foundation

JL Taman Bendungan Asahan 5 Jakarta Indonesia 102010

phone : 62(021) 70081995 – 5703646



Clinical and Editor in Chief :


email :



Copyright © 2009, Clinic For Children Information Education Network. All rights reserved.


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