Thursday, April 26, 2007

Unbomb Iraq

Photo: ©Alan Pogue, 2000. "Water Treatment Plant," south of Basra. 2000. Larry Kerschner and Phil Steger hold a sign that compares the destruction of Hiroshima and the sanctions on Iraq. With the help of Veterans for Peace this facility has since been restored. It now provides clean drinking water for 30,000 people. (In March, 2003, US and British forces took it out again, leaving the people of Basra without water.)

Unbomb Iraq

Rewind reality so the gray heap
of someone’s brains rushes back into
a broken skull. Unlight the firestorm

so fragments of ash
meld back together. Attach severed arms and legs
to bodies, breathe life

back into dead children
and their parents. Repair the waste of soldiers who
are battered and die

obeying an illegal campaign.
Draw blood and bad water up from sand, purify
the water, restore

the lives of human beings caught in the human
catastrophe "shock and awe" has wrought
on the world — in our name.

It is a mistake to think weapons fix anything.
Justice solves human problems, not bombs.

Unbomb Iraq.
This is wrong. Americans are not monsters.
Hitler would find no fascists here. Ay!

We suffer from bad government. That’s all.
Enormous errors tangle the American will —
We think we are a free people.

We’re not.
We think we have a free press. We don’t.
Stealth corporations have usurped our constitution.

Human survival on earth depends on our being able
to control them. I startle awake, these words
on my lips —

Unbomb Iraq.
Unbomb Iraq.
Unbomb Iraq.

©Susan Bright, 2003

Impeachment anyone?

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store has just gone online.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shades of Billy Pilgrim's vision
seen through the eyes of the late
Kurt Vonegut in Slaughter House Five. Thanks for your blog SB.


9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your best poem yet, SB, and I have read a lot of 'em! Thanks, RO

4:00 AM  
Blogger Ivan G. Goldman said...

Susan, I love this poem. No easy trick to inform with such emotion and artistry. I see the images.

5:11 PM  

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