Headline Muse, 7/31

The verdict was certainly binding
But the pathways to justice are winding
Though “an eye for an eye”
Was the law to apply
Now the victim has pardoned a blinding

Headline: Iranian sentenced to blinding for acid attack pardoned

Ameneh Bahrami, after years of fighting for “justice” (read: for her attacker to be blinded with acid, as he had done to her), has pardoned Majd Movahedi, her attacker, at the last minute. She is still, quite understandably, seeking compensation for medical fees.

The state television website reported: “With the request of Ameneh Bahrami, the acid attack victim, Majid (Movahedi) who was sentenced for ‘qisas’ was pardoned at the last minute.”

The Isna news agency quoted Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying: “Today in hospital the blinding of Majid Movahedi was to have been carried out in the presence of an eye specialist and judiciary representative, when Ameneh pardoned him.”

Isna quoted Ms Bahrami as saying: “I struggled for seven years with this verdict to prove to people that the person who hurls acid should be punished through ‘qisas’, but today I pardoned him because it was my right.

One Last Dance

When Johnny was little, he played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass

But friendship is fickle in kids of this age
So he had the occasional fight
And names would be called, and fists would be thrown,
In a world that was pure black-and-white;
Johnny was smaller than some of the boys
And the target, sometimes, of abuse
He sometimes fought back, but too quickly he learned
That his struggles were never of use

When Johnny was little, he’d played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass

Johnny was lonely, and Johnny was scared;
He knew he would never be cool
He knew all the names of the popular boys
Cos they’d all kicked his ass after school
They called him a faggot; they called him a queer
And nobody cared if it’s true
Cos the summers are long and the summers are hot
And the bad boys need something to do

When Johnny was little, he’d played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass

Johnny told teachers, and parents and more
That the bullies were out of control
But the teachers were fond of the popular boys
So they told him they’d pray for his soul
He heard what they said, and he heard what they didn’t,
And knew they were not on his side
He wondered if, really, they worried at all,
And would they be sad if he died?

When Johnny was little, he’d played with his friends
As the summertime slowly would pass
They’d swim in the rivers; they’d hide in the woods
And they’d frolic and dance in the grass, oh
They’d frolic and dance in the grass

Johnny was tired of running and hiding
And wanted his troubles to end
Johnny might never have done what he did
If he only had talked with a friend
Instead, though, he talked with the school’s Parents’ League
(There were lies that they had to dispel)
They wanted the children to all know the truth—
That Johnny was going to Hell

They said he was sinful; they said he was wrong
They told him the things he must learn
They told him that God sends all sinners to Hell
They told him that that’s where he’d burn
When Johnny heard the things they said
He knew he had no chance
So Johnny got a length of rope
For one last, special dance

They told him they’d pray for the sake of his soul
They told him that, always, there’s hope;
But never again will he dance in the grass
Since he danced at the end of a rope, oh
Since he danced at the end of a rope.

[Read more…]

My Marriage Is Gay Today

Half a lifetime ago
As chronologies go
I was married, in upstate New York
There were family, friends,
And some strange odds and ends
When we, husband and wife, popped the cork

But today it feels strange
As if something has changed
Though our vows are the same, to the letter
Because, as of today,
Why, “marriage is gay”
And equality’s oh so much better

When marriage was straight
And the church barred the gate
And kept part of humanity out
They tried to define
In society’s mind
What a marriage was wholly about

Though they struggled with words
Their whole view was absurd
And historically, simply untrue—
And sanctified bigots
Just opened their spigots
Letting sewage and prejudice spew

They poured this pollution
Into my institution;
My marriage was tarred by their brush
But—long story short—
I am glad to report
They are getting their long-deserved flush.

With this change in the laws
I feel better, because
I’m not part of a bigoted order
So today, let’s have fun
But there’s work to be done
Cos equality stops at the border.