Looking for _____, says the prompt at Poetic Asides. As usual, my Irish is up!
LOOKING FOR PEACE
Swords into ploughshares? Not anytime soon.
We’ve been at war for thousands of years.
Men have fought over women, over money,
marking territory like dogs, changing borders,
shouting orders that (_____) is to blame and
(_______) MUST be annihilated.
Special ops, men made of steel and guts –
many who live to tell the tale, broken and unsure.
Troopers exacted the only death toll at Attica.
Nixon said it was an acceptable loss.
Collateral damage: Arms, legs, burqas,
babies. Baskets full from market, now
bullet-hewn produce strewn on a rocky terrain.
“Meanwhile, back at the ranch,”
Skinheads field-dress a man whose only sin
was a wink at the wrong guy; he is strapped
to the bumper of a cracker truck with the
Confederate flag flapping in the breeze of
the ultimate joy ride – ice-cold beer and
today’s catch dead and mangled, trailing them,
bouncing in the tread marks.
A woman says the wrong thing (again)
and gets what she had coming; he talks to police
and she hides her face, mumbling “mistake” and “sorry.”
A shelter’s bell rings at 2 am:
A mom and two kids barefoot in Buffalo snow,
wrapped only in bedsheets. As they are clothed and
warmed by cocoa and reassurance, they tell of
the boyfriend confiscating clothes and shoes nightly
so they might not leave. Now they fear he is near.
In D.C., no matter who started it, the drones find
their next predator… surrounded by family members.
In return, a boy straps on the gear and becomes
one cell phone call away from the CNN crawl.
Everybody has nukes as long as the US says it’s OK.
Israel walls off Palestinians, we pay for the materials.
If we complain, we are called “anti-Semitic,”
even if we’re Jewish!
Mexican cartels are doing well and causing hell,
while the CIA protects Afghan poppy fields.
But we are made to worry only about people who hope
to clean toilets in America – the least of our worries.
God, Jehovah, Adonai, Allah, Creator
Give us peace, we pray in our churches and temples
We didn’t listen to Moses.
We didn’t listen to Jesus.
We ignore the Five Pillars of Islam.
We didn’t heed the Buddha or Gandhi.
We didn’t follow Dr. King past his death.
We only listen to TV…
Why don’t we listen to God?
(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Another Poetic Asides “location” poem, but my blog is able to handle the Spanish, so here it be!!
SAN JUAN AUTUMN
Autumn in tropical climes
held no charm for me…
only a reminder that, once again,
I’d missed the falling leaves of October.
My little girl had not yet seen
the glory of leaves
tangerine, blood orange, marmalade,
Nature’s display, a free buffet
One call to my sister and a week later
the magical package arrived.
“¿Qué tal, Mama?” cried Laurita,
my little Irish Jewish Puertoriqueña.
Overturning the box,
waxed leaves spilled onto the tabletop.
“¡Amarillo, rojo, todas las colores!” squeaked Laura.
We taped them to the white plaster walls
as though they were falling from a tree in heaven.
Random patterns of second-hand Autumn.
My child’s first dance with the leaves,
we filled the house and neighbors came
to marvel at our living fresco.
© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil