The Throwing of the Shoes


“This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog!
This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq!”
Muntazer al-Zaidi

Your bravery has taken over
your sense of reportage.

What options do they have
as a futile response?

Arrest you on charges of
“Assault with a pair of shoes with the intent of expressing the truth.”

Force on you a one-way ticket
before they close Guantanamo.

Keep you in a windowless cell
without pen and paper.

What could be worse?
Make you eat Dubya’s shoes?

A better aim would have been good,
though unnecessary.
As it was you showed us
how expertly
he dodges.

For in two seconds and a pair of shoes
you have assured history
shall not be written
by those who bombard
with lies.

Unlike the 15 seconds fought for
by those overfed on the idiot box,
your simple, poetic gesture
shall be recorded, applauded,
revered.

-o-

This was written perhaps too hastily on 15 December 2008.  Recently Mr Al-Zaidi was sentenced to three years in prison by the Iraqi courts.  One wonders whose feet are being kissed by handing down this sentence.

If throwing a pair of shoes warrants such a punishment, what would be the just punishment for the mass murder of innocent people?

I am hoping to be able to write a follow-up piece one day.

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

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