This is not a war

swimming in crashing, loamy waves
blowing out birthday candles
riding Ferris wheels

They are not your own

smiling at reporter’s cameras
trudging through “safe” corridors, southerly
without anesthesia for leg amputation

They are not your tribe’s

trapped under bombed-out building rubble
forcibly moved from hospitals
alone, entire family taken by missile

They are not of your ilk

Without food
Without hospital
Without water

They are not pale

Without incubator
Without parents
With nothing in the world but more of your bombs

Are they not human?


This is not a war

It’s a massacre of the innocent [1]

1.  As of December 15, 2023, over 10,000 children have been slain or lost under rubble in the Gaza genocide out of about 18,000 Gazans killed (mostly civilian); 35 children have been killed in Israel.

As a prolific author from the Boston area, Peter F. Crowley writes in various forms, including short fiction, op-eds, poetry and academic essays. In 2020, his poetry book Those Who Hold Up the Earth was published by Kelsay Books and received impressive reviews by Kirkus Review, the New Age and two local Boston-area newspapers. His writing can be found in Middle East Monitor, Znet, 34th Parallel, Pif Magazine, Galway Review, Digging the Fat, Adelaide’s Short Story and Poetry Award anthologies (finalist in both) and The Opiate. His books That Night and Other Stories (CAAB Publishing) and Empire’s End (Alien Buddha Press) were released during the week of Friday the 13th in October 2023. Read other articles by Peter F..