Two poems by Ingrid Bruck

What you do to them, you do to me

I went to view the 87 page shooter’s manifesto
but social media had deleted it.
Should I accept this for the supposed greater good?
What are the ethics of depriving me a view
of the grist of a hate mongering document,
purged from the internet, forced underground.
Being sent there could co-opt its appeal
for unhappy young men,
weak and susceptible to lure.
I can understand the shooter
wants to play the internet,
wants to trawl for white killer recruits.
When did government get the right
to treat us as brainless fools?
When did we let go of the right
to decide for ourselves?
When did We the People vanish?


100 Muslim Massacre

“Headlong his gallop
on knee-tight held horses.
Headlong his hot charge
mad for mad massacre.”


Killer, you were mad for mad massacre
(like Aneirin told us in year 590 AD):
fifty New Zealanders dead, fifty more shot,
Muslims of all ages,
children, an old grandfather

Killer, you, a white supremacist crusader,
posted a 87 page manifesto
rage, rage against the dying of the light.
You will not claim a martyr’s death prematurely,
will not go gentle.
You, young man of 28, a bereaved son
missing the father of 49 he lost to cancer,
how dare you misdirect the words of Dylan Thomas

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says you brought evil
to an island of peace and tolerance,
vows never to speak your name.
Brendan Tarrant, she enacted a new gun law in six days
and social media took down your internet posts

Killer, you trapped your victims
on a desert of raw gunshot wounds.
You gamed and trained in chat and meme,
pandered your innocence
on the world wide web.
Remorseless Muslim slayer,
memorial posters proclaim, We Are They

How did you lose contact with butterflies?
There is power in the kiwi silver fern,
it lights the opera house in Sydney,
bigger than you’ll ever know.
My Aotearoa friend tells me she cries again
when she see this photo of condolence,
the fern unfurls, cups, holds her in silver silence

  • After: Dylan Thomas & Audrey Lourde:

 Dylan Thomas – “Do not go gentle into that good night” &
“rage, rage against the dying of the light “
Audrey Lourde, “I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds”

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