Image via Wikipedia Since 1991, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has fought to overthrow successive Sierra Leonean governments it accuses of widespread corruption, nepotism, and mismanagement of the country's vast diamond and mineral resources. The rebels use axes, machetes, and knives to kill and maim hundreds of people, including women and children. This is a poem I wrote in 2000 about the issue (prior to the movie starring Leo DiCaprio):
From the fields of Sierra Leone
to the shops of Belgium
blood diamonds in the pockets of rebels,
black hearts black market,
this priceless booty extracted
from severed hands of women and children.
What kind of mind would wield that rusty axe,
hack away the human potential to take, to give, to touch?
You've seen the ads: Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
This girl has no fingers.
Eyes luminous, she tells the reporter:
I don't want people to buy diamonds.
Diamonds are killing us.