A photograph featuring many people that is blurred to create the effect of an Impressionist painting
From Yousef Khanfar’s project Humanity at Large, in cooperation with the United Nations. Khanfar writes, “These photos are impressionistic images that show human beings as islands within the waves of the great ocean of humanity, intertwined within the same fabric, stitched with fine threads of race, religion, color, and more.”

Don’t say anything just now,
But angels are around us,
In the silverware, the lines of glasses
On the shelf.

I wouldn’t speak to them just yet,

They are not ready for us. Purity has shaped their sight,
And we are shocking to their eyes, at best.
Commanded to extend their touch to fallen ones, they are reluctant.
Who can blame them? They cut themselves
On the sharpness of our minds,
And run back bleeding, straight to God,
Who gathers up his children, binds their wounds,
And listens to their tears.

Who owns the stories now? Our words are weapons,
Heaven trembles at the sight of our transgressions.
Have we no shame, that we send the shining ones
Back to the place they came from,
Filled with horrors? There will be
A reckoning, for all is seen.


Lee van Laer ( was born in Yonkers, New York. He is an artist, musician, photographer, poet, and writer. He is currently one of the senior editors for Parabola magazine.