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Somehow as the sun sets

The thrill of being alive startles


Is it love alone

Or your starlit smile


The play of Istanbul

Theenchantment of kediler **


This thrill of life persists

Despite the world


Despite unimaginable

And hideous atrocities


We must not avert our eyes

Or escape to the suburbs of the mind


The faith of this hour

Is anxious patience


Panic prescribed as sanity

Thanks Greta’


Remember to observe bravery

Along the Gaza fence


Remember refugees

Human and desperate


And those killed and maimed

Because their skin is darker


Or their god(s) differ

Despite being the same


Then and only then

Succumb to flowers and maidens


Only then visit forests

To bless magical animals


While living and dying

Keep your gaze, affirm


This impossible faith

By smiles, by tears


This forever fervor

Keeping birthdays precious


To be old and engaged

Is to be truly young


To be old and enraged

Is to be truly young


To affirm the affirmable

And fight the abominable


Is to be truly young

Great fortune at 89



Richard Falk

Istanbul, November 13, 2019