Sunday, March 11, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness Day 38

A man grieves beside the coffin of his brother who was killed during Tuesday's bomb attack in Hilla, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, March 7, 2007. Insurgents killed 149 Shi'ite pilgrims heading for the holy Iraqi city of Kerbala on Tuesday, including 115 when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in one of the deadliest attacks of the 4-year-war. Arabic inscription on the coffin reads: 'Offer prayers for the soul of the deceased'.

The Poems I Have Not Written

by John Brehm

I’m so wildly unprolific, the poems

I have not written would reach

from here to the California coast

if you laid them end to end.

And if you stacked them up,

the poems I have not written

would sway like a silent

Tower of Babel, saying nothing

and everything in a thousand

different tongues. So moving, so

filled with and emptied of suffering,

so steeped in the music of a voice

speechless before the truth,

the poems I have not written

would break the hearts of every

woman who’s ever left me,

make them eye their husbands

with a sharp contempt and hate

themselves for turning their backs

on the very source of beauty.

The poems I have not written

would compel all other poets

to ask of God: "Why do you

let me live? I am worthless.

please strike me dead at once,

destroy my works and cleanse

the earth of all my ghastly

imperfections." Trees would

bow their heads before the poems

I have not written. "Take me,"

they would say, "and turn me

into your pages so that I

might live forever as the ground

from which your words arise."

The wind itself, about which

I might have written so eloquently,

praising its slick and intersecting

rivers of air, its stately calms

and furious interrogations,

its flutelike lingerings and passionate

reproofs, would divert its course

to sweep down and then pass over

the poems I have not written,

and the life I have not lived, the life

I’ve failed even to imagine,

which they so perfectly describe.


RubDMC said...

for peace

Americans Care said...

Now posted at:
Finding Closure: Contest for an Epitaph for the Iraq War Begins Today
(Originally posted March 10, 2007)
Americans. We must take responsibility for the actions of our government and our corporations. We must act now to make sure our soldiers have not died or been injured in vain. We must admit when we have failed. Learn from our mistakes. And move on to create something positive from our failures. What does the Iraq War mean to you? Where do we go from here? Please submit your own epitaph for the death of the War itself. Post your entry as a comment or send it in an email to Sponsoships and links to web sites that encourage dialogue about the War are also welcome. Weekly Winners and Prizes to be announced.
From the tears and ashes of our countryman must come an enlightenment and new dedication to truth and love.

Epitaph for the Iraq War
Iraq War
March 20,2003 to ASAP

Election tied
Leaders lied
America tried
And with Pride
Americans died
Those on each side
Were sad & horrified
Our nation is petrified
But must reverse the tide
They're no longer glorified
The murderers can never hide

ask said...

I witness.

Maryscott OConnor said...

Light a candle AND curse the fucking darkness.

musing graze said...

Le Guignon
by Charles Baudelaire

Pour soulever un poids si lourd,
Sisyphe, il faudrait ton courage!
Bien qu'on ait du coeur à l'ouvrage,
L'Art est long et le Temps est court.

Loin des sépultures célèbres,
Vers un cimetière isolé,
Mon coeur, comme un tambour voilé,
Va battant des marches funèbres.

— Maint joyau dort enseveli
Dans les ténèbres et l'oubli,
Bien loin des pioches et des sondes;

Mainte fleur épanche à regret
Son parfum doux comme un secret
Dans les solitudes profondes.

Bad Luck

In order to lift a weight so heavy,
Sisyphus, one would need your courage!
Even if one puts one's heart into the work,
Art is long and Time is short.

Far from the sepulchers of the renowned,
Toward an isolated cemetery,
My heart, like a muffled drum,
Goes beating out funeral marches.

-- Many a jewel sleeps buried
In shadow and oblivion,
Far from the miner's pickaxe and drill;

Many a flower reluctantly pours forth
Its sweet perfume like a secret
In the depths of solitude.

Translation by Cat Nilan.

moira said...


for a man and his brother.

anniethena said...

For peace
I witness