Friday, July 27, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 72

Young Iraqi girl stands next to a bullet hole in the area where clashes erupted between the US military and the Mahdi Army militia, in the Shiite shrine city of Karbala, 27 July. Nine people were killed and several more were wounded during the clashes, security and hospital officials said.
(AFP/Mohammed Sawaf)

Easy to Be Hard
from the musical Hair
lyrics/music/book by James Rado and Gerome Ragni

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who care about evil
And social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd?
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend

How can people be so heartless
You know I'm hung up on you
Easy to give in
Easy to help out

And especially people
Who care about strangers
Who say they care about social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

- - -

I've been listening to this music again after a long hiatus, prompted, in part, by the recent John Edwards campaign commercial. I was first given a vinyl LP of the original Broadway cast recording as a graduation gift in 1969 by a friend of my older sister's. It changed my life. I guess I'm just a good DFH ;^)

- - -

Update: Thanks to Diane W. at MyLeftWing for this YouTube.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 71

top photo Mohammed Ali, 17, waits to be transported to a burn center after a car bomb attack in the Karradah neighborhood in central Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 23, 2007. Three parked cars exploded in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people and wounding 19, police said.
(AP Photo/Adil al-Khazali)

middle photo The casket of U.S. Army Pfc. Le Ron Wilson is carried into his funeral at Christ the King Church in New York July 17, 2007. Wilson, 18, from New York, died July 6, 2007, in Iraq of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

bottom photo This April 2007 handout photo provided by ATK Corporate Communications shows Lake City Army Ammunition Plant Vice President and General Manager Karen Davies. The plant produces nearly 1.4 billion bullets a year, a dizzying figure driven by war demands. Although no one knows when the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end, the ammunition industry is preparing for a downturn in business, hoping to avoid a post-Cold War style drop-off that forced some to close doors.
(AP Photo/ATK Corporate Communications)

- - -

from the musical Hair

Ripped open by metal explosion
Caught in barbed wire
Bullet shock
Throbbing meat
Electronic data processing
Black uniforms
Bare feet, carbines
Mail-order rifles
Shoot the muscles
256 Viet Cong captured
256 Viet Cong captured

Prisoners in Niggertown
It's a dirty little war
Three Five Zero Zero
Take weapons up and begin to kill
Watch the long long armies drifting home

- - -

Friday, July 13, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 70

(top)Recent file photo of Reuters driver Saeed Chmagh who was killed with photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen in Baghdad on Thursday. The cause of the deaths was unclear, though first reports from the scene spoke of an explosion.
(Ceerwan Aziz/Reuters)

(bottom)Recent file photo of Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 23, who was killed along with driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, in Baghdad on July 12, 2007.
(Ceerwan Aziz/Reuters)

from Endymion
by John Keats

Book I (excerpt)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 69

The mother of 20-year-old Mohammed Hasson cries over his body in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, Iraq, Wednesday, July 4, 2007. Mohammed was killed in a car bomb blast in the Baghdad's Shaab district Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)

from A Dream Within a Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 68

Jennifer Moretti, right, sister of U.S. Army Sgt. Trista Moretti, embraces a U.S. flag given to her at Sgt. Moretti's burial Tuesday, July 3, 2007, in Linden, N.J. At left is their mother, Judy Moretti. Sgt. Moretti was killed in an insurgent mortar attack June 25 in Nasir Lafitah, Iraq.
(AP Photo/George Olivar)

from Heart's Needle
by W. D. Snodgrass


Here in the scuffled dust
is our ground of play.
I lift you on your swing and must
shove you away,
see you return again,
drive you off again, then

stand quiet till you come.
You, though you climb
higher, farther from me, longer,
will fall back to me stronger.
Bad penny, pendulum,
you keep my constant time

to bob in blue July
where fat goldfinches fly
over the glittering, fecund
reach of our growing lands.
Once more now, this second,
I hold you in my hands.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 67

A four year old Iraq child cries as older boys stage a mock execution in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 2, 2007. Children's games are under a heavy influence of ongoing violence in the country, one of the more popular ones being a clash between militias and police.
(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Happy Ending for the Lost Children
by Charles Martin

One of their picture books would no doubt show
The two lost children wandering in a maze
Of anthropomorphic tree limbs: the familiar crow

Swoops down upon the trail they leave of corn,
Tolerant of the error of their ways.
Hand in hand they stumble onto the story,

Brighteyed with beginnings of fever, scared
Half to death, yet never for a moment
Doubting the outcome that had been prepared

Long in advance: Girl saves brother from oven,
Appalling witch dies in appropriate torment;
Her hoarded treasure buys them their parents' love.

* * *
"As happy an ending as any fable
Can provide," squawks the crow, who had expected more:
Delicate morsels from the witch's table.

It's an old story—in the modern version
The random children fall to random terror.
You see it nightly on the television:

Cameras focus on the lopeared bear
Beside the plastic ukulele, shattered
In a fit of rage—the lost children are

Found in the first place we now think to look:
Under the fallen leaves, under the scattered
Pages of a lost children's picture book.

* * *
But if we leave terror waiting in the rain
For the wrong bus, or if we have terror find,
At the very last moment the right train,

Only to get off at the wrong station—
If we for once imagine a happy ending,
Which is, as always, a continuation,

It's because the happy ending's a necessity,
It isn't just a sentimental ploy"
Without the happy ending there would be

No one to tell the story to but the witch,
And the story is clearly meant for the girl and boy
Just now about to step into her kitchen

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness - Day 66

I haven't posted anything in a long time and decided that, rather than go ahead with a long and tortured explanation of why it's been so these last several weeks, I'd put this up instead, and try to get back on track.