by Swans

August 1, 1999 - Note from the Editor: The poem below was first published on June 21, 1996, Swans' second month on line. "Untitled" is certainly not a descriptive name; but in addition to meaning "without title", it can refer to having no right or claim. Swans believes now more than ever in the ultimate power of words, and that in silence, one has no right or claim to expect change, and no possibility whatsoever to make a difference. Just as television, and then 24-hour news, allowed us to witness global events only previously seen and interpreted by the few, now through our computers we can pass information, in real time, that the media or governments can only struggle to suppress. We read beograd.com for the first-hand, human reports that were nowhere in the media. In China, the ability of people to organize via the Internet has been revolutionary, and a repeated threat to the government. Where these changes will lead, if technology will further polarize the industrialized and non-industrialized nations, or if it will provide a powerful link between them, may take years to know. In the meantime, please keep reading our words, and sending us yours.

I scream in my silence
and hide behind words.
The child that became mute so long ago
("she's such a good student,
if only she didn't talk so much")
can analyze and formulate with the best of adults.
and the thoughts ruminate until it is as if
they have already been spoken.
But they have not.

I drown in your silence.
Silence is resignation, acceptance, defeat;
selfish and isolating.
But words, words are gifts, invitations, weapons;
anything they may or may not mean.
Any way to interpret or misinterpret them.
They are links, nonetheless.

There are plenty of words
for those who have none --
words for children who can't voice their needs.
Words for the living, words for the dying,
words for the merely surviving.
I shall give them my words
and make you think.

And you, you shall question your silence;
in turn, give words to those in need
make connections you had never imagined
challenge your thinking
and fly among ideas,
like a Swan.


Resources on the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath


Articles Published on Swans Regarding the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath

Published August 1, 1999
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