Acts of harm

What despair or anger or antipathy

causes a human, with all the feelings

of every other tender person,

to do unconscionable

acts of deepest harm

against fellow beings?


What benefit can that person

hope to gain from this desperation,

other than the false short pleasure

of destructive revenge?


What thoughts drive the ragged mind

of the person that chooses to harm?


Does that person think that

only in destruction can they

find peace, or consolation

or some sort of distorted meaning?


What of the victims

who have done no more

than be, living their lives

in ordinariness and in the

expectation of peace?


Acts of desperate evil

cannot be defined by

the usual ways of thinking,

by the moral compass that

many of us share,

for they are acts that are

not about the victims at all,

but about the states of disorder,

of rage and disassembly,

that have led a human being

to come to this,

to all this deep

and unsolvable misery

that echoes on and on and on,


What is our response? What should we do

as beings with a moral order?


It has to be one of justice.

But not justice alone.

For in coming with

healing hands to

this indescribable tragedy,

there is a need for another:

deep unquenchable love,

and hope as an

antidote to despair.