Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Flashback~No One Remembers Anything Least of All This

No One Remembers Anything Least of All This

Do we find the cost of freedom
buried in the ground?
~Stephen Stills

It doesn't matter how high
the white dove flies.
The downplummet fall
is determined by
gunpowder and blood.

Where war meets money
there are only
unequal equations
and the black
hole sucksounds
of mouths
without wings.

~September 2013


  1. Hi. Powerful poem. The mouths without wings works super well as a doubletake - I think of them as moths attracted to the flame.

    I do give them a little more benefit of the doubt - I'm not sure this is quite as much about money as some of the other ones - though I'm sure it can cost and lose as much in both money and lives. I think there is a genuine wish - and I may be naive -to do a right thing, but I don't think that (i) we can effectively secure a "right result" in these situations, and (ii) I don't think we can do it with more death. And that seems to me is very much what your first stanza gets at. If we try to get at the white dove with guns, it's probably going to be bleeding. Agh. (Very well put-on the poetry side of things.)

    The nonpoetry side just makes me just incredibly sick. It's not the venality - as again, for me that's not what's going on here--though I could be wrong - rather a kind of been there done thatness to it all - I remember people many felt that Vietnam was initiated as humanitarian. Agh. k.

    1. Yes, exactly, k. They *always* sell war as necessary, noble and the right thing to do--I would love to think that the people currently advocating for violence are doing it from noble motives. I just don't believe that argument will stand much scrutiny in light of the past.

      If we want to 'punish' Assad--and who gave us alone that authority--this won't do it. If we don't want to influence the outcome of the war, or initiate regime change, why not negotiate with Turkey to provide safe, US air-patrolled zones for the refugees, and/or send military-secured humanitarian aid to the existing camps instead? Why not continue to try to negotiate with all the world players to condemn Assad's actions and authorize joint, sanctioned force partnered with other countries, rather than interfere on our own in yet another sectarian conflict at the cost of an unknown and uncontrollable regional reaction which could plunge the whole world into a chain-reaction war? Does anyone think if Israel were bombed or seriously engaged as a result of this, the US wouldn't come to their defense, and *everyone* would not go to full scale boots on the ground war?

      That's logic, plain reality, and everyone sees it. That's why they have to play the horrendous atrocities card(not that they weren't horrendous or atrocities)--because nothing less will get this war-weary country going. We've developed since WWII a huge military industrial complex that depends on war for survival. Afghanistan is about to wind down--so something else has to be geared up to replace it.

      I do strongly deplore the use of any chemical weapons--as I deplore the fact that 100,000 Syrians have died by other means and millions are refugees because of this conflict, but I think they are pushing America's best buttons here, the ones of compassion and desire for justice, totally for their own reasons, and as usual, without any care or concern at all for the lives of the people in the region, or of our own soldiers who will, inevitably, have to go in to clean up the mess.

      But it would be so nice if I was wrong. Maybe someone will convince me. ;_)

    2. I won't be that person (to convince you). Agh. It's awful, just awful. Thanks for your very powerful poem and powerful, cogent, prose too. k.

  2. A slippery slope when we attempt to rationalize one form of mass murder as morally superior to another ....

  3. i dunno, i still think this one is about will boost our economy for a season...war does that...and it will look good for the elections if they pull that off...we share similar feelings joy, it sickens me what is happening there, but...i def think we can not shoulder the burden of policing the world alone...but its a role we assume easily...until it backfires on us

  4. Not another testost-o-rama to pour our energy and blood into. Please.

  5. "the black hole sucksound of mouths without wings". OMG. Stellar writing, kiddo! I cant believe we are in this same place again. But then, again, why should it surprise me? I saw something on facebook that said "we kill people who kill people because killing people is wrong." Yup. That's about it. F*ck.

  6. Well, you know Hedge, we have to invade Syria because they, you know, attacked Syria. And we can't be having that. Disregard the stock prices of the makers of Patriot missiles (I think Mama Zen pointed out Raytheon was up like a gazillion percent of late)

    In a meta view, enforcing one-language Americanish (English) ensures that even the possibility of thinking another way- which is what having some semblance of fluency in another tongue provides - is precluded. All the verses pour into the same funnel, which so ably mixes money and blood.

    1. Very true, M. Back in the Stone Age when I was in grade school, I had mandatory French through junior high--six years, and more in high school. I was able to read simple books and listen to movie dialogue with understanding, and it's helped me understand, if not speak, Spanish as well, which in our country ought to be learned by everyone, for exactly the reasons you give. Now, I'm not sure children are even being taught English at the same level.

      Yes, Wall Street had a booming day yesterday--the cost of a Tomahawk missile is upwards of a million, and the strike calls for a minimum of two hundred--(just for, you know, degrading things) go figure how that will pump some company's bottom line.

  7. I agree with every word that you wrote in your response to Karin. Every word.

  8. Wish I could be eloquent. All I can say is: FUCKERS. And, I want to cry. And, I'm grateful that at a time like this you can be eloquent.

    1. Thank you Mark--this was just a sort of gut-spew, and any eloquence is by the grace of fate. I am too angry to cry--that will come later when this all somehow goes forward, against the will of the people who voted for Obama thinking him opposed to mindless aggression, against the best interests of Syria, and against the interests of humanity. Make war to end wars--you would think by now no one would be foolish enough to go for it, wouldn't you?

  9. Country Joe...
    "Don't ask me I don't give a Damn
    Next stop is Viet Nam"!!!

    1. Yeah--too bad there aren't any snappy rhymes for Syria.

  10. The whole situation makes me so mad I could spit. But not so mad that I could bomb anyone. O.o Thanks for this Joy.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats