Justice Rendered

by Cal Wes Ubideer

“Sanctuary cities help protect undocumented aliens.” —”Weird” Ace Blues

July 1st, 2015, Miss Kate Steinle had been shot.
A single bullet struck her in the back, as there she walked
upon Pier 14 with her father, San Francisco Bay.
She died, killed by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.

But he was not responsible—the bullet ricocheted—
he never meant to kill her on that sunny summer day.
Although he was undocumented and an alien,
who had a rap sheet, that did not make him a criminal.

Kate’s brother said he’s “not surprised,” obviously unnerved.
Kate’s father mused, “Justice was rendered but it was not served.
We…want to get this over with and move on with our lives.”
He still remembers her last words, o, “Help me dad,” she cried.

Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California.


The Persecution of Falun Dafa

by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei

Ms. Tao Hongfang and Ms. Deng Zhenzhen have both been detained;
while Liu Liangmin’s critical conditions still remain;
and Mr. Qiu Denong has been arrested by police;
as Mr. Han Zhongyi has gone to prison in the East;
Ms. Li Yujun has been convicted, sentencing was firm;
Ms. Xu Shimei was given out a six-month prison term.
The names go on and on; it does not seem they will abate;
practitioners of Falun Gong are fodder for this hate;
and persecution happens in Jiangsu, Hunan, Shandong,
Hubei, Beijing, and Liaoning, and southward to Guandong,

Lu “Reed ABCs” is a poet of China.


At Rawda Mosque

by “Scribe” El Uwade

More than three hundred people have been murdered in a mosque:
in Bir al-Abd, in Sinai, Egypt, came the deadly cost.
The Sufis (and non-Sufis) at their Friday prayers were
attacked by IS bombs and guns at helpless worshippers.
The geometrical, beige mosque and grounds were painted red,
so many people injured, and so many people dead.
Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi vowed the killers will not go
unpunished for this crime; they will be chased like any foe.
The military lauched air strikes at mountain areas,
but what was foremost in the minds of most was burials.

“Scribe” El Uwade is a poet of the Egypt of the last five millennia.


(All poems by Bruce Dale Wise)


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3 Responses

  1. Clair Voyance

    Really? An ARMED, undocumented alien. Not his fault? In a state where weapon ownership, let alone illegal weapon ownership, is such a grievous threat to public safety that all forms of self protection should be banned? Or is it simply the idolatry of politics? California sets the standard for hypocrisy.

  2. Cal Wes Ubideer

    I am frequently rewriting poems—they shift, like moving dunes. For the next publishing of the poem, I have changed the quote slightly: “Sanctuary cities help protect undocumented immigrants.”

    Although there are arguments for various word, phrase, and structural changes in stanza 1, for me, it is too integrated to tackle, including the broken sentence in between the two couplets. Besides, as a docupoem it serves its purpose: who, what, where, when, how.

    I had already changed the second couplet of the second stanza, utilizing connotative words and phrases, like illegally, alien, rap sheet, and common criminal, casting the incident in the light of the questions Clair Voyance acutely asks: “Although he was illegally here and an alien,/ his rap sheet did not mean he was a common criminal.” Here the language is Audenesque and the alliterative slant rhyme works as dissonance.

    The raison d’être of the poem, as you indirectly fathomed Mr. Sale, is the final “gut-renching” conclusion in the last stanza, which looks at the incident from the family’s perspective, in addition to supplying the title of the poem. Here the repetition of Kate’s name moves steadily to the tragic conclusion.

    Docupoems, like “Justice Rendered,” are hard to write for several reasons, not least of which is having to craft language for such a difficult topic; but I do think they need to be written to express the events of our time, as they can act as representative historical artifacts of our era, in the same way as do encapsulated moments of the ancient Greek and Roman poets, like Horace, Pindar and Sappho, even though this particular poem does not rise to the level of those writers’ extraordinary constructions.


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