Today's post is a response to the following message from the international literature festival berlin:
On December 10, 1948, 70 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was announced by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. On this anniversary, the international literature festival berlin (ilb) calls upon individuals, institutions, universities, schools, and media who value freedom of the press and human rights to organize and participate in a worldwide reading in memory of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Poems in honor of
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the memory of Jamal Khashoggi
Universal Declaration for Jamal
by Linda Mitchell
barbarous acts have outraged us.
of our human family, is murdered.
championed freedoms of justice and peace.
rights should have been protected.
Insomuch as Jamal’s
dignity and human worth were disregarded.
better standards for all peoples and nations.
Forasmuch as Jamal
is compatriot, colleague, father, spouse, friend, brother
We are not his
We are not his
Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
REMEMBERING JAMAL KHASHOGGI
by Michelle Kogan
Golden Shovel built from Article 03 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A human life is the responsibility of everyone.
When a voice has
spoken for those oppressed, the
voice also needs right-
ful protection. To
slaughter any life
is a blight against all liberty
all measures of human security
need to unite to right this heinous act of
dehumanization toward that person.
© 2018 Michelle Kogan
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
by Tabatha Yeatts
made of the universe,
breathing stars with every breath,
who unfurled like a flower
in the world's womb,
The right to be seen—
replete with spirit
a complete unit of life—
spark of life's fire,
wherever you go.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
by Harry Yeatts
iambic tetrameter blank verse pentastich
These folks hold tight to their beliefs.
Those folks over there do the same.
And both believe diff'rent from me.
So then we're all non-believers,
And have every right to be.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
all I need is
elected officials who
question my value and
understand nothing of the
perhaps it's time to
the truth of
nothing is ever secure.
© 2018 Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
freedom to be nice
by Donna JT Smith, © 2018
found poem from the UDHR
religion or belief
may nothing be
A concrete poem by Brenda Davis Harsham:
Elizabeth Steinglass has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Liz!
What a worthy tribute, very moving, Tabatha. I can't choose a favorite, they are all polished and wonderful.
Thanks for sharing these powerful poems. Praying for justice for Jamal's murder.
This is still on my list, yet I see that powerful words have been written by many, Tabatha. It seems that something is being planned to respond to Jamal's death. I am hopeful that "right" will overcome "might". Thank you!
Wow. These are so powerful, each one separately, and ever more so together. Thank you all.
Tabatha, thank you for your sincere care for the UN and Jamal and the way that poetry can address the catastrophe of his murder. Michelle's golden shovel is quite an indictment. The repetition of "For you" in your poem brings us waves of humanity. All non-believers is such a different way to see things in Henry's poem. Michelle H.'s reflection on what we should or should not accept from our leaders gives me reason to think. And, Donna brings a lightheartedness to a heavy topic in a way that works. It is good to be kind. I've never seen a concrete poem from Brenda before. What a delight. Thank you again, for this collection. I feel honored to be included in the poets that have given voice to Jamal's death.
There is power and comfort in poetry. A wonderful collection of voices here!
Wow. I'm sorry I missed this call, but I am moved to my core by the collection gathered here. Powerful.
So many different approaches and ways of expressing the importance of the UDHR in all of our lives. A powerful and poignant way to honor Jamal Khashoggi, too. Thank you for collecting our poems and creating such a powerful presentation, Tabatha! I'm honored to be a part of it.
So many sensitive and powerful poems here–and a strong tribute to Jamal Khashoggi. Thanks Tabatha for putting out the call for this collection and sending in our poems!
Oh wow, so good. I love the way you've combined the impersonal legal language with the details of the individual person, Jamal.
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