On listening to the Requiem Mass in D Minor post the Paris Massacre

paris mozart 2


When the world seems rent by orchestrated savagery –
ambulance crews speeding to attend the dying & injured,
medics stitching up skin & blown-off limbs
in yet another civilian bloodbath –

………..requiem in Mozart.

When reactionary politics triumph, presidents & ministers primed
with big guns & bucks
to justify yet more oppression & slaughter –

(o pitiless France… o Paris, City of Love?)

When world problems feel monstrous,
& citizens are gripped in the jaws of fear &
commercial interests, which cast long, misshapen shadows –

………..requiem in loss, in lamentation.

When the heart is an unfortunate exhibit, pinned out on strings,
bleeds for Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kenya,
Palestine-Israel, Nigeria, Chad, Niger,
Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Mexico, Ukraine etc;

(& for the millions finished by the military-
industrial machine – from The IUCN Red List:

Extinct, no known individuals remaining:
Aurochs, Reunion Owl, Parras Pupfish, Oceanic
Steller’s Sea Cow, Acorn Pearly Mussel,
Jamaican Monkey, Guam Flying Fox, Japanese Sea Lion,

…………………………………………….etc …..etc….)

When secret agents arm & train terrorists
to fight proxy wars; when young minds are colonised
by simulated violence; & violence dwarfs
the climate talks as global temperatures exceed

ONE degree

above pre-industrial levels   (& 2° is catastrophic)

……requiem, weep –

let exquisite fingers unpin the heart, bathe it
in this choral sea of mourning;
this ocean of sound a human history
of sorrow & bereavement, this ancient mass
the rite that honours & transforms.


Through the Requiem the spirit
reascends – a fulgent beacon rising, unfolding wings
above the dark abyss –
a vision where the monster
quivers in abeyance,
awakening the power
we can be together
with love as our guiding force.


Forgiveness lives
to heal & transcend the conflicts in our lives,
to comprehend the meaning
of collective ideals –
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité…

Sanctus ……Sanctus   sanctus


Helen Moore
Illustration: Claire Palmer


Helen Moore is an award-winning ecopoet and socially engaged artist based in SW England. Her debut poetry collection, Hedge Fund, And Other Living Margins (Shearsman Books, 2012), was described by Alasdair Paterson as being “in the great tradition of visionary politics in British poetry.”  Her second collection, ECOZOA (Permanent Publications, 2015), which responds to Thomas Berry’s vision of the ‘Ecozoic Era’, where we live in harmony “with the Earth as community” has already been acclaimed by a leading literary figure, John Kinsella, as “a milestone in the journey of ecopoetics”.  http://permanentpublications.co.uk/port/ecozoa-by-helen-moore/








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