“No, it won’t do”

by Chris McDonnell

Pray Tell has as its subtitle “Worship, wit and wisdom.” In the light of the ever increasing loss of life in Gaza, I thought a post calling attention to this conflict would be in order. It is my prayer that in our wisdom we may pursue every avenue to bring to a halt this terrible conflict, which affects many families who have no direct part in it?

Our prayer and liturgical celebrations cannot ignore the pain that is currently being experienced by Christians in the Middle East.


No, it won’t do*

No, it won’t do

to claim that dwellings

hide the threat of fire,

or a hospital

the resting place

for lethal activity

that must be subdued,

or a family

when told to leave didn’t,


for there was nowhere else

to go.



it will not do,

as smoke clouds rise

above the rubble

of city streets,

lit red with the flash

of in-coming shells.


Amid this rumbling roar

of attrition, comes

a wailing siren-scream

as casualties are lifted

from the gathered dust

and broken-hearted Mothers

weep for their children,

held lifeless,

in their outstretched arms.



it will not do.

It will not do,

neither this week

nor next month,

for life to be lost

through the intransigence

of stubborn men,

repaying anger


further anger,

losing sight

of the final cost.


There on a narrow,

coastal strip of land


between hot desert sand

and cooling sea,

cries conscience.



it will not do.


*“No, it won’t do….”

The opening line of Theodicy,

Czeslaw Milosz : pg 445 Collected Poems: 1931- 2001


Chris McDonnell is a regular reader and commenter at Pray Tell Blog.



  1. Thank you.
    I understand that the Palestinians are not permitted to fish further than three miles from the coast. A Hamas demand is to lift that limit to twelve miles. This seems reasonable to me. Indeed if the economy prospers the control of Hamas will be weakened. In my opinion it is oppressive to have this three mile limit.

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