11/11 (and one to grow on)

Support Our Troops
Bravery?
What if they gave a war
and nobody came?
What if our ethos gave up
on targets to blame?
March of disorders;
unstable bonds break down,
crush frightened innocents
to dust.
We meant to serve our nation.
We meant to save rights, defend
threatened treasure, stalwart
bulwarks against disaster.
We meant to honor sacrifice, work of
our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers
for the good life:
family, God, country
and a wholesome recompense of pleasure.
Not executors of horror so intense
as to reverberate through our
remaining consciousness.
Who is advanced?
Who left in pieces that never heal?
God is on the battle field
not as commanding general or inspiring
mascot,
as witness
and gentle minister
of last rites
to shattered soldiers.
Not in Our Name
Nobody wins in a war
(well, maybe a few financiers of war industries, but)
Not us, not them, not humanity
Not the dead, not the living
Not the yet to be born
Not the land, water, air, our natural resources
Not the roads, buildings, pipes, utility lines, the infrastructure
Not love or peace or morality
Not human nature
Not Right
Not Justice
Not God
Not the battlegrounds or the cemeteries, or the unhealable wounds in our souls
Whatever we may hope to accomplish with war,
There are better ways.
Child of War
My daddy died saving our country.
My mommy cries, so sad and lonely.
But I can see, she’s also scared.
Our neighbors spit our names like swears.
I try to be respectful and kind.
They curse out threats, scream “We’re not blind,
you people are evil, your faith makes you kill.”
Sometimes if I stand, eyes closed, so still
I can hear my daddy say “Be strong,
my beloved child. Those people are wrong.
Wars aren’t decreed by Gods from above.
War is the sad fruit of the failure of love.”
Soldier
Soldiers, persons of honor, heroes of
common cause, deserve concerted worship on the throne
of myth.  No longer men or women alone, adrift,
seeking meaning, solace for their losses,
receivers for their gifts. Sins and virtues 
washed in wars’ conflicting visions, no longer fit
collective debt.  Cynics’ crimes against our mirrors
deserve reflection.  Does the command of empire
demand recursive lies, impossibility of true
repentance, vicious alibis, endless pitches into
death?
Early learning cast the play of we and they.
Blood, bone, face
is not man, soil intent on destiny.
Shadow marketeers sell swords, honour,
blessings to follow the faith as good fathers demand.
Soft blood dries — throes of maggots and microbes
cunningly feast on folly.
Can the wage of war pay to feed our habit?
Vegetation of these mythic forests grows
twisted, tinged in dark crimson layers.
Smell terror, violent death —
fresh meat, or fresh enough for remnant
gnashed snarls of teeth and salivation.
Lullabies drenched in sweet hope
snapped for a dream.
War, to improve the species,
cull the less fit or fortunate,
revitalize with hybridization.
Trained adversaries of different kin join in
biocultural cross-fertilization.
New semination, ideas, vigor, replace those
destroyed in battle.  Hegelian dialectic played out
in donnybrook and brothel,
conquered and conquerors commingle in the everyday.
Warrior upon warrior.
Young, aggressive, strong, culturally arrogant,
seeking honour, adoration, through attack.
Like young male cats
of the archetypal jungle, sent out from the tribe
to trouble the enemy.
Lesser punks relegate to jail.  Yeah, yeah, get the scofflaws off the street;
scapegoats for collective demons need be punished well.
While locked in hell, too, losers from the gene pool.
The privileged and their entourage
seldom serve time.  Innocents sans means
get rousted and warehoused.  The holy encourage:
Keep ’em chained until aged weak beyond appeal.
Modern reason might usurp these adaptations.
Species, in danger of elimination, needed arrogance
to demand resources
to feed more warriors
to keep each kin group scrambling
for position.   To get more competitive, through competition.
Billions of voices shout cacaphony.
Sentient choices blend better as harmony.
By liminal command, young aggressors channel
to sport, fantasy war, adventurous work.
Next level survival demands we assess, re-learn.
War Games
More and more
get less and less
the best sacrificed
to great God Success
Anger
building
brick by bloody brick
Is it a surprise
(“Look!  Into my eyes!”)
when the peasants cackle
resurrecting the guillotine
Raw power
hot metal shooting
making unmistakable mark
burning ragged skin and guts
and glory
.
Tell me a story, daddy
about before the war
when water flowed
in abundant freedom
when the air was pure
of the stench
of progress
when everybody had
a sacred right
to feel
and believe
and dance in the moonlight
when we could afford to be
young, untried, open
to possibilities not cut off
by a sacrificial knife
repeatedly deeply severing
vital organs
without regard to the waste
with no respect for place
or the people for whom that space
holds stories
.
Weapons forged in anger
built up shattered layers of
desperate pride, disrespect, grief
create festering wounds
poisoning the populace
unto the Seventh Generation
caught up in some grotesque
morality play
Hiroshima
Fight for peace
Our sacred honor
Arrows fly
piercing armor.
Piercing amor, pride’s
full measure.
Wrath, revenge,
mortal fear, coiling
paranoia
bayonet strong.
Toddlers at play,
unarmed, unwary,
skeletally still.
Bared secrets slip
from space and time.
Scorching pinprick holes
in heaven’s fabric;
petrified souls thrust into
premature rebirth.
Hellfire ripped from metaphor
rends scream-echo,
palpable texture,
daring phantoms,
death’s brigade.
Crying “Peace!”
— unheeded command
because real glory
belongs to destruction.
The Enemy
Hiding from bombardments.
Thick, black water.
No thirst is worth this
indignity.
Running through rubble,
recently devolved
homes, commerce, community.
Extended families,
aunts and cousins,
good neighbors,
valued friends
devolved to shattered corpses.
Wailing at the wall of freedom,
of humanity.
Chaotic prophecies whisper,
Hell reigning upon
modern Earth.
Policy statements fly
in protective formation.
“We can not give in to
the enemy.”
Study War No More
What lesson can be applied?
When imperialist troops crash down upon a people’s pride?
When might as right meets the instinct to survive?
When Midas greed lashes out to destroy?
We’ve been here before, o my brethren, o my children —
repeating the fouled lessons poured into our thirsty minds,
pushing back the horror before our eyes with blinding rage
forged into weapons by mortal foes
who hide in plain sight.
The only thing I know —
The lesson repeating agony in all our souls,
Haunted by the pleading eyes and bloody hearts
Of the slaughtered sacrifices to malignant gods —
There is something vital here to learn.
They win a stupid, miserable battle because they’re all about the fight,
all about taking out any foreign concept or perpetrator of perceived slight.
The war continues because soldiers are so much fun to play with,
so easy to control by those who enjoy divide and conquer games.
For the few outsiders who don’t want to play, well, we make good
training exercise targets.
Fine, be a “hawk”
go to war with the other hawks
in a hawk war stadium
kill each other off
to cheering crowds
all the blood and glory you so

badly crave

It’s a strange philosophy,

making war the ultimate decider of conflict or disagreement.
Over and over it fails, miserably, tragically. Yet the demand persists.
What you say about the military life, it’s just life.
We are all in a way soldiers,
soldiering on in whatever function we find, in getting through.
There are occasions for heroism,
for that adrenaline pumping into action we never knew
we could perform.
There are all the horrors that we may or may not encounter,
how we learn to live anyway.
War may be a more condensed way of living,
a faster ride,
often on the most brutal side.
There was a Roman soldier bored with war,
with whores, with bloody babies.
Hoping to escape, he wrote a history,
moved into
his Holy fantasy.
It’s but a Shangri-La, a piper’s dream.
Metal men, formed from clay,
scream upon fields of hostility,
when scathing nerves
catch up with senses.
Soothed with martial melodies,
gratefully they rise to serve.
Ballad of a Modern Hero
Young Julius Jones
Born in the month of his naming
Trained in the fine art of gaming
Grew in the wilds of Manhattan
Among the sticks and stones.
Young Julius Jones
Learned soon to hate with a passion
Whoever was most then in fashion
Learned soon to pummel and flatten
Whoever was not of his own.
He grew swift and strong
A fine looking man, and a tough one
With women was always a rough one
But knew how to use all to please him
Sure of his own right and wrong.
He went off to war
Glad to be raising his station
Proud to be serving his nation
He’d ne’er let the enemy seize him
Of this he was sure.
He shot proud and true
And sent letters home to his mother
Of how he had killed yet another
Taught those damn Commies a lesson
Gave ’em what they were due.
He died in the night
And when, in the morning, they found him
It was nothing new to astound them
Someone just said, “What a mess.”
And soon he was out of their sight.
Young Julius Jones
Born in the month of his naming
Trained in the fine art of gaming
Gone from the isle of Manhattan
Among the sticks and stones.
Young Julius Jones
Had learned well to hate with a passion
Whoever was most then in fashion
Learned well his lesson and that
In the end justified his bones.
Honoring peace
Honoring lives left behind
not in consecrated fields
open to air and sunlight
tended father to son,
mother to daughter.
Dust to carry forward.
Lives not given, not shared.Taken.
Ripped asunder.
Limbs, guts, glory.
Shrieking abandoned waifs,
wailing inconsolate lovers.
Screaming bombs, squealing tanks.
Arms shattered,
vision scarred
for peace, for Fatherland, for prosperity.
Today, cold, raw, ice flecks
obscure a longed-for Sun.

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