Monday, June 26, 2006

Nightmare of War

Everyone dies.
No big surprise.
You and I
Will also die,
Will be drawn into the great angelic sight,
Rush down the tunnel ten times the
Speed of light!
We will encounter
The primal and sweet Being of Light--
God, Lord of Love, Brahman, Christ, Buddha.
But may our lives and deaths
Have meaning,
Supporting Love.
The radical shame
Of this greed-based,
Shameless war
Is that it is
Quite empty of meaning.
When a girl or boy,
Still in the prime of life,
With an entire life ahead,
Is cut down dead,
After only a few moments
On earth, just starting,
Great is the shame of their parting,
And terrible the loss.
Never again
Will they cuddle with lovers,
Play with children,
Laugh joyfully,
Share tears.
They have been cut off
From life, by sheer greed.
Terrible also is the karma,
The just rewards,
Of those who sent them to death,
From comfortable and safe offices,
Sending our best girls and boys
To sweat and bleed to death
In an unknown and distant desert.

THE FUNERAL, by Steven McDaniel

The man in tears
stands over the flag-draped coffin
of his son who died in a war
that could have been avoided.

Friends and relatives
move behind him like ghosts.
He hears and sees nothing
but the eternal silence
of his sons pale lips.

The mother is stoic,
stern-faced, sitting
in the front row of the metal chairs,
roses rest in her lap, her hands
clench the thorns to blood
like red, angry tears.

Her eyes are dry and bitter
with grief, knowing how
she must carry this load
the rest of her life.

Today, she will begin
to die to love
to bear the awful pain.

She feels so much.
She feels nothing.

She cannot look up at her husband.

It is the first day of their divorce.

White clouds in a blue sky
move overhead
like they have for eons,
as if nothing has changed.

A bird whistles, then a volley
of gunfire shocks the silence
in a military salute.

How fitting, the mother thinks.
Guns that killed my son
are shooting at him in the sky.

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