Poetry and Rants by DC McKenzie

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Just Us

4 June 2k11

~*~

This poem is dedicated with Love,

with gratitude, and my utmost respect to

Gil Scott-Heron

1 April 1949 ~ 27 May 2011

~*~

Just Us

I. the Idioglossia Concordance

Welcome to America,
the nation who put the ‘us’ in Justice.
America: be loyal or be vanished.
Now that you are in our country
learn to speak the language:

We have named it Freedom
yet it feels like oppression.
We think we hold the reigns
but in truth we have been shackled with chains.
A yoke of responsibility, of shame
for countless atrocities committed in our name.

We say Reservation:
yet it really means domination,
and may be read as ‘refugee camp’.

Christopher Columbus began the brutal language lesson
when he came to the New World, which was really an Old World.

Soon Settlers taught the First People new words, such as
redskin-Independence-firewater-OnlyJesusSaves-tuberculosis-genocide
and Liberty, which ironically rhymes with poverty.

What was defined as a Republic, a Democracy,
in practice reeks of hypocrisy, waving a bloody flag over
The Home of the Brave
The Land of the Free
—unless your name happens to contain ‘Ali’.

Paying the dues of the poor and the weak
Paying the dues of the Wannabe Free
It is a white voice of doom in the inner city night
blaring flashred from cop cars;
it is no accident that we paint them black and white—

To Protect and Serve,
police use words like commUnity.
Yet, after the butchering and rape,
Judges use words like copImmunity.

Therefore,
I do not pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
or to the market brand for which it now stands.

One nation, under corporate domination.
With Liberty and Justice for some people,
and indefinite detention, extraordinary rendition
at an immigration and interrogation prison,
a humiliation and assimilation prison,
for other people. Amen.

II. the Bonehouse Accord

We each have but one chance
to do our part, our share in healing
the world and her children.
What will you do?

Better still, ask yourself:
what am I willing to give?
what am I prepared to lose?

What would you give if your life were not enough?
What if first you had to give up your home,
your family, and all of your stuff.
What would you give?

Do not wait until you are lying in the bonehouse
rotting and rattling before you ask,
Could I have done more?

Still, this feels useless—
for you have heard all of this shit before.
Maybe we will wave some signs, or send a check
to assuage (guilt) the wretched misery of
some poor kid halfway around the planet.

Maybe some of us will get off of our asses
and spend the rest of our lives,
every last drop of our spirits,
striving to ease the suffering
which is skulking all around us—
gnashing its teeth to jackboot thunder as
one human, every four seconds, dies of hunger.

Famine squats in the belly of the world.
While we inject air into sugar and lard,
shrink wrap it beneath stinking plastic
and sell it as food on tv, crammed between
commercials of starving refugees.

Yet we cannot seem to understand
why our children are obese.
We cannot understand why
they are turning to automatic weapons
as an answer to public education.

There are some places where
people are stoned to death merely attempting to vote.
Here millions just sit watching the tube
and getting drunk or stoned.
In the end, barely a fraction
of our fractious population actually votes.

Rooted upon the couch, we are
stunned by the absurd and
paralyzed by the gross:

Scientists are creating ethical obscenities—
growing the teeth of pigs in a lab rat’s belly;
whilst I can buy fourteen different types
of seedless raspberry jelly.

Why then will we not grow enough food
to feed the millions of hungry people
in this land of milk and honey?
Is it because we agree when the tv shows us
an asshole in a suit saying,
“Show Me The Money”?

Brandishing a Visagold-plated guarantee
that our lives shall be secure and livable,
our government has decreed that corporate crime
is forgivable. So also to insure that our citizens
from the Evildoers are defended,
some, or all, of our inalienable
human rights must necessarily be suspended.

Welcome then, to America,
the nation who put the ‘us’ in Justice.
America: be loyal or be vanished.
Now that you are in our country,
learn to speak the language.

 

 

 

 

DC McKenzie

 

 

 

—end transmission—

Close Cover Before Striking

21 April 2k10

Tonight my friend is in the hospital. He is dying. Yet, lingering in a vegetative state, many would say he is already gone. His heart beats, a machine fills his lungs like a bellows, another machine regulates his medication, and monitors his vital signs, however his mind is…disconnected. He is dying. It was an accident, one that could have been avoided, except that he was drunk, which is suspected of being a contributing factor. In truth it could happen to any of us: while walking home, he slipped on a treacherous remnant of winter ice and fell on his head. In happens in the blink of an eye: One moment my friend was making his way through this life, the next moment he was clinging to that life.

And though this is terrible in itself, the truth of this is far more tragic. The truth is that we knew he was in crisis. We, his few friends, knew he was struggling with depression and alcoholism. Of course, we tried to help, some more than others. Still, we all tried. But he can be difficult to communicate with, brilliant and troubled, often recalcitrant. and…and…and…bullshit, all of it.
The truth is that I had my own problems, my disability, my own acute depression, and when he did reach out to me I avoided his calls. And eventually, my friend stopped calling.

Given that we were both fighting depression, and suicidal ideation, I thought of my friend often. I knew that, like me, he was isolating. That he was breaking beneath the weight of pain and loneliness. I knew that he was self-medicating with alcohol. Nevertheless, I didn’t call him.

For me, alcohol is an issue, mainly because many years ago I also drank…before the brain surgery, before the onset of ‘major depressive disorder’. And back when I drank I invariably turned into an asshole. It took a while for me to wise up, I lost friends, I lost girlfriends, I lost self-respect from my actions while drunk. Seven years ago I quit drinking. I stopped because I finally realized that I did not like the person I was when I drank, that it brought out the worst in me. Luckily, I quit before I became a full-blown alcoholic.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my friend. He was suffering, and like so many countless souls he self-medicated to dull the pain, and the unspeakable emptiness that depression creates in us. I feel that because of this he became a chronic alcoholic. And I should make it extremely clear that he did not become an asshole when drunk; he was always a good man, even when he was in misery. Still, despite however nice people are, I admit I still have real difficulty dealing with a drunk person. In truth? Perhaps I can’t stand to see what used to be me.

This went on for a few years as he deteriorated. We worried. We all tried to help him, but he wouldn’t have it. He kept slowly self-destructing and it was so painful to see that many of us looked away. To my shame, that is exactly what I did.

The last time he called me, I didn’t answer the phone. I know he was reaching out for help because no one calls that late without a serious reason. I stared at the phone and rationalized that I would call him back the next day, when I was better able to deal with his pain, better able to help him…after all I could barely help myself at the time. So, I didn’t answer the phone. He never called again. And tonight he is dying.

My friend spent day after day living with the belief that he could not escape the wretched cycle. This is what depression does to you. It whispers that you are alone in your despair, that there can be no escape. It is a cancer of the soul.

As he lies alone in the hospital I am drinking, something far worse than alcohol. Tonight, I drink the cup of regret. It tastes of the bitter guilt of trading my own peace of mind for having empathy for a friend who needed help. As I drink this cup, I beg you: learn from my mistake. If there is someone you care for who is suffering do not let them pull away, regardless of how hard they try. Do not give in to the corrosion that eats away at love and empathy. As frightening as confronting depression can be, if you see signs of someone who is in crisis do not be afraid to talk with them, it could save their life. Sometimes people are screaming for help on the inside and yet it’s still so very hard to hear.
He is dying. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t put it off until you find yourself like me, sitting in front of a screen futilely searching for a way to say, “I’m sorry.”

~*~

Close Cover Before Striking

My friend Tom walks and talks—
He slouches through the day
slowly
stuffing
down
the noxious TNT distillate of Depression,
the cloying soulsap rendered from rage:

He has made a bomb of his heart.

The Tombomb works his job and wonders why—
He has built an Anti-Tom device,
it is hidden under an oilcloth against the walls of his chest.
He is surprised every time he finds it
ticktickticking sinister beside the fleshbricks of his ribcage.
Much like finding a landmine in a plate of mashed potatoes,
he is not sure what to do.

The Tombomb loves (screams) and does not remember—
He rocks but does not roll.
Waking to a new day, he finds the old one wired into his heart.
He stands in the bathroom and will not look in the broken mirror.
He shuffles to table, and staring into coffee, toys with the fuse.
She wants to take cover, yet every morning she diffuses him
…red wire…green wire…blue wire…green wire…red wire…
only to find fresh solder sweating from his heart by night.

The Tombomb wishes Things Were Different—
He has seized himself for a hostage.
He sits in the driveway and says, ‘No…No, nothing’s wrong.’
But I can see in his arms that he is holding the Bomb.
His pleas for lightning go unheeded,
as I back slowly away, with
no
fast
moves.
Fumes bleed into the air, which shimmers around him
like a desert mirage, distorting all that he can see.

The Tombomb has a fuse but he cannot find a match.

 ~D.C. McKenzie


—end transmission—

Parable of the Blacklight Rat

16 January 2k11

This poem is for all of us who have been raked over the coals by the Universe. This one is for the down-hearted, the down-trodden, the down-on-their-luck, and the down-for-the-count. This is for those forever alone. This is for the outcast and for the untouchables. This is for those who endlessly toil that others may eat and be warm. This is for we who have been tempered in the fire of pain, depression, and trauma only to rise stronger for it.

When Death comes for you, when fighting and fleeing are futile,
remember the Blacklight Rat, and decide how you shall greet the Reaper.
For mortal though we be, our souls are eternal and free…

~*~

Parable of the Blacklight Rat

i.
As a teenrager, infected with
an acute outbreak of angst,
there hung above my bed
a blacklight poster portraying
in vivid-violet hues
the last great act
of defiance by a doomed Rat:

Standing lonely on a bleak cliff,
bathed in moonlight, is Rat.
Meanwhile, plummeting down upon him
from its cold aerie of starlit stone,
comes the feather-swoop of a hunter deadly—
Eagle plunging out of the indigo night.

Ill-fated, foreseeing no salvation
other than to go out with his boots on.
Rat elects to spend his last moment
standing defiant in the face of Death,
by flipping his executioner the finger.

ii.
Undaunted by the Scourge of Small Things:
cool grimness seen in a slight sneer
wrinkling his whiskered mug;
that steely-eyed little Rat
gave the bird the bird.

Such insolence, such obstinate
disdain for the Reaper’s raptor,
an ornithologically ordained
messenger of Winged Death itself…
well, surely this audacious outrage
shall echo to the very end of time.

Such six-gun-man-with-no-name bravura,
such contemptuous courage,
such nobility noir,
forever warms the darkest corners
of my own rodent heart.

~D.C. McKenzie

—end transmission—

Saffron River~Update: Aung San Suu Kyi is Free

13 November 2k10

Today, after two decades of prison and house arrest, two decades of ruthless oppression which has only strengthened her noble resolve, the Junta of Burma has set free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

~*~

Emerging from her Rangoon home to the celebrations of thousands, who had been gathering since Friday, Daw Suu Kyi called for calm, saying, “There is a time to be quiet, and a time to talk. People must work in unison.” And said she would visit the headquarters of the now disbanded political party, the National League for Democracy, which won the election in 1990, but was quashed by the Junta, who then arrested and held the outspoken Daw Suu Kyi in one form of imprisonment or detention ever since.

Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, also made an impassioned plea to the military Junta to “…build on today’s action by releasing all remaining political prisoners…”

Until they are freed, a part of every one of us remains imprisoned. For that which you inflict upon even one of us, you inflict upon us all.

Only in Solidarity can we forge true Freedom.
Only with Solidarity can Unocal be held accountable for their Crimes against Humanity: by bribing the Junta military to make slaves of countless poor Burmese citizens. Forcing them to labor in the jungles to clear brush for pipeline equipment; a death sentence to many, while those who live often become refugees in their own land. Yet Solidarity knows no borders, recognizes no difference between Asian, European, American…Solidarity only recognizes Human.

Only through Solidarity will the political prisoners of Burma be released, and an end put to the Generals and their brutal, wicked regime.

Come, let us stand with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, until all of Burma is finally Free.

~*~

~DC McKenzie

—end transmission—

Saffron River

3 November 2k10

Our world at times feels alien; a bedlam full of hostile places, a wasteland vast with no oasis—
Our world is teeming with the strife of war, the spectre of genocide.
The chasm between wealth and poverty grows with every hour.
While with mighty armies and high walls behind which they hide,
Evil men rule the day, grasping at their chains of power.

In a land held hostage, with even the name of the country in contention, though recognized by the UN with little dissension—and even less international aid, hardly worth the mention—the nation now called Myanmar reels with anguish and persecution. Even as it stands at the brink of Freedom.
Tremors rumble across the country, as more and more Burmese begin to resist, only to be struck down.
Yet for every one returned to the Earth, another rises.

With this poem I address the Junta of Burma. Ruthless, blood-hungry Generals with your dispassionate decrees, and Death Squads set loose like jackals upon your citizenry. Right down to the faceless functionary, with a fraction of power to be wielded mercilessly—your pens are as bloody as any sword could hope to be.

Humbly, I beg you, wipe clean this awful slate, upon which you write Burma’s fate: turn away from the empty security of a Police State.
It is better to have freedom with danger, than to have security with slavery.
I beg you, fuel the ember of compassion within you, which you have secretly protected against the long winter of fear.

Finally, I beg you, for the sake of your people, set free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

~*~

Saffron River

Their alms bowls overturned in protest,
begging instead for peace, for an end to slaughter,
thousands of Buddhist Monks are marching
in solidarity, in despair, on the streets of Sittwe.

Armed only with prayers, they stand against soldiers

as before, and as before,

when they were tear-gassed

and beaten with batons.

In Mandalay, they march fragile seeming
against armored thugs with riot-guns.

However, a human at one with the Universe
cannot with beatings or bullets be quelled.

In Rangoon, they rise against a tyrannical regime
…just imagine all of that orange and saffron

clogging the streets with prayers,

spilling into alleyways

like a broken string of prayer beads.

Monks unyielding, monks resolute—
unwilling to bear the yoke of repression
unwilling to face atrocity and remain mute.

Now citizens, men and women,
young and old alike, who would
normally stay out of the troubles,
are linking arm in arm
to protect these monks

who beg alms to feed the hungry and the outcast
whose lifelong service and selfless
sacrifice have made them truly holy.

Later that day, gutters ran with blood for rain—
a saffron river to dispel discontent in those who remain.
And what of the monks taken alive?

They have disappeared

They have disappeared

Reeducated or Reincarnated

—whichever came first.

~D.C. McKenzie

~*~

~Monks of Burma~

—end transmission—

Memory and Music

26 September 2k10

~In Memorial Gayle Janecek~

These songs are dedicated to you Gayle. And for our reunion on Saturday, 5 April 1986.

24 years, 5 months, 21 days have gone by…and though you have crossed the veil of this life,

I still count the days until we are reunited once more.

~*~

~*~

“Twilight at Rainbow Lake”



~*~

On that Saturday of our reunion, Gayle and I drove from Anchorage out to my Birth family’s home at Rainbow Lake. Needless to say, it was an emotional day. Even my Mom, who lovingly supported my quest to find my Birth-Family, and to learn my history, shed a few happy tears at seeing my long dream of meeting my Birth Mother fulfilled.

During the drive we talked, haltingly at first, but soon enough the dam burst, and we made peace with the long years of separation. And we have Paul Simon to thank for releasing the deluge of emotional turmoil. For during the drive this song came on the radio, and within a minute Gayle and I were pulled over on the roadside, hugging, crying, and laughing. As we shared a moment of beautiful synchronicity.

For that, and all that came after, I will always be grateful.

So began a lifetime of friendship and love.

~*~

 

~*~

 

—end transmission—

Free Rabbit Living

3 September 2k10

~In Memorial, Gayle Janecek~

On 10 February 1968, two young people, deeply in love, made what is among the most painful decisions a parent can make. They gave their firstborn child up for adoption. I was that child, and decades later Gayle would confide in me that over the long years she never gave up hope that one day we might be reunited.

My adoption was not an act of running away, despite their youth. No, it was a sacrifice they made out of love, and the needs of their child. Because it really was the best for all involved. Neither did they give me up to the first couple they encountered. Far from it, Gayle interviewed many until she found what she was seeking. Not without Michael’s help, you should understand; but I’ve been told that Gayle was a Mama Grizzly Bear in her drive to find what she considered the right family. Through a collusion of Providence itself and my truly formidable Birth Grandmother, Jean Paal, they found a couple who would love me unconditionally. And she chose well, for those I call Mother and Father raised me as their own. Though my Dad has passed, today I am as close to my Mom as any friend, and love her as she loves me, unconditionally.

So it is with my Birth Family, whom I was joyfully reunited with on my 18th. year. So much more than my birth mother, Gayle was among my closest friends, my ally and confidant, my cohort in a chaotic life. Her wisdom, and the loving fierceness with which she lived her life inspires me every day. So too, I am blessed to know and deeply love my birth father, Michael.

Although I miss her profoundly I know in my heart that she has found Peace.
Her bright Spirit walks a new path beyond this life.
Yet the loving memory of Gayle Janecek will remain with us always.

 

~*~

“Farewell Gayle” photo by Joan Paal-Fridley

~*~

Free Rabbit Living

~poem for Gayle

Repeat after me: I am free

It was in the season of twilight
when you broke-trail ahead of us
and died after living joyously.
To live, we must do the same.

Autumn is a season of paradox.
Precarious, yet resplendent
as the circular relationship
between Water and Stone
between Rabbit and Fox.

In every day moments unfold
both of rapture and sorrow;
living to live teaches us
the truth of the ineffable Now
without seeking an unreachable tomorrow.

Free Rabbit Living teaches us
that every day is a good day to die.

As you have left us,
so too the Moon is leaving Earth.
Naught but a fraction in each season
’tis true, but ultimately vast
set against the dominion of space and time.

In a Danse Majesté, with Her
we are but crossing paths.
We waltz, with lonely Sol calling the rhyme
—in the silence we shall part,
to the inevitable we must relent.

While of the grief
we can only endure
until its razor edge
is ground dull by love.

Let us raise a glass then:
to lavish time
that sliver so thin
which is granted to us.

Repeat after me: I am free

 

 

 

 

DC McKenzie

 

 

 

—end transmission—

Fou Roux

29 July 2k10

On this night, 120 years ago, Vincent van Gogh passed from this life. He died in the presence of those he loved and who loved him. A rare blessing in his last days of torment and despair. Much has been written of his suicide, the painful details have been etched into history: That on 27 July, he finally lost the battle with the acute Depression he had been fighting for so many years; that he walked behind a haystack in a field where he had been painting and shot himself in the chest.

The bullet missed his heart and lodged in his chest, making it possible for him to walk back to the Ravoux Inn, where he had been staying. His brother Theo arrived the next day and stayed by his bedside, where Vincent quietly smoked his pipe, until the end.
Clinging to life for two days before succumbing to the injury, Vincent van Gogh died in Theo’s arms at 1:30 am on 29 July 1890.

Such was the bond between the brothers that Theo’s grief likely contributed to his death six months later, after protracted illness, on 25 January 1891. Today, at Johanna van Gogh-Bonger’s behest, their graves lie together beneath an ivy shroud, planted from the garden of Vincent’s physician and friend, Dr. Gachet.

Described as Grief-stricken by their mutual friend, Emile Bernard, Theo van Gogh would later write to their sister Elisabeth, “He himself desired to die. While I was sitting by him, trying to persuade him that we would heal him, and that we hoped he would be saved from further attacks, he answered, ‘La tristesse durera toujours~The sadness will always remain~’ I felt I understood what he wished to say.”


~The Sadness Will Always Remain
~

Reportedly, these were among Vincent’s last words. Yet the melancholy, the archetypal mad artist, would not be the only legacy Vincent van Gogh left to the world.
Far from falling into obscurity, as he believed he would, instead the world has come to cherish the genius, the vision of van Gogh.
A vision unique; one that changed the very way we perceive art, and the artist. I dedicate this poem not only to Vincent, but to Theo, who never gave up on his brother, who in many ways made Vincent’s oeuvre possible. With this poem, written with the utmost respect and empathy, I seek to drag the spectre of Mental Illness out into the light, that others who suffer may know that you are not alone.

On this 120th. memorial of the death of Vincent van Gogh, let us celebrate his life and the illumination he provided the world, which is his true legacy.

~*~

Fou Roux ~the redheaded madman

~by D.C. McKenzie


i.
Thirty good and wholesome
townspeople of Arles, neighbors all,
have had your yellow house closed by the cops
And you, Vincent, saw your worst fear come to pass
as, at last, you were hauled off to the Asylum.

There it took three days of solitary
confinement to regain your Self.

Gauguin is gone. It is true, Paul has left:
but not before it was too late
to stop the juggernaut of sorrow and arrest.
(and by the way, Paul Gauguin
you windbag, you…cross-eyed thief,

it had been raining for days on end—
how did you hear his footstep
so soft behind you in the downpour?
In the darkness, without lamp or light—
how did you see the blade with which
you claim Vincent menaced you so?)

ii.
You are scared now, Vincent…aren’t you?
All about you are the insane and their keepers.
Have you come to believe the vicious gossip?
Has it truly come to that at the last? Madness?

Or is it a worse ailment? Failure.
Not as an artist before the public,
that fickle beast, you know too well

it was never really about acceptance
rather, a failure to render your vision into reality.

That, I fear, is what broke youso finally, so completely.
Now, you are surrounded by chaos and heartbreak.
Bedlam brimming in broken minds: without order, without colour,
as if you have been cast upon a fey, monochrome wind.

Alas too, the sky above you has become foreboding,
pressing upon you as much so as the pressure of poverty
skulking in the shade. For to be a burden upon Theo
and his family is a thing you loathe most of all.

There is so much that I will never understand.
Yet, this I truly know, Vincent:

Hunger is nothing next to Emptiness
(don’t believe? try it.)
—a hideous non-thing that steals away our very senses.

Of emptiness there can be no solace.
It is a thing every suicide instinctively knows.
In the end, it is not loneliness, but emptiness
which we seek to escape; and by which we are undone.

iii.
The sky, hitherto your collaborator,
your vista upon a far too vivid Now, is shuttered.
It has become a coffer of looming cobalt clouds.
In this Now, even absinthe and spirits cannot ease the pain
or bring surcease to the seizure and the sorrow.

Smiling a scarecrow smile to even behold it

the sunlight which was once your gilded muse,

once your benevolent ally in a hostile world,

huddles forlorn in your cell

caught in a corner of the ceiling

where your brush cannot reach.

A sun that is present only amidst fields

populated by an unkindness of crows.

Furrowed ground lies beneath hulking slate-blue skies
and wheat sheaves, bound into pyre-like haystacks,
which you have roughly carved in cadmium and ochre
on a canvas barely able to withstand your demands.

Although they make much of the crows,
it is the blackviolet vault of the sky
which brings a stab of empathy
for the agony and despair of your last days.
Thunderclouds roiling greyblue
broken by oblique rays of a mantled, yet majestic, sun.

Oh, they make much of the crows, but…no, Vincent,
it is the turmoil of the skies that signaled your peril.


Wheat Field with Crows~Auvers 1890

—end transmission—

Trinity~65 Years of the Atomic Age

16 July 2k10

“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” ~Bertrand Russell

“All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.” ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

16 July 1945 5:29:45

Deep in the desert, at the White Sands Proving Ground, The Trinity Test of a
 plutonium device called the “Gadget” is detonated. Ushering in the Nuclear Age, the device is an equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT, and the shock wave was felt up to 100 miles away. The mushroom cloud reached a height of more than 7 miles. The crater of radioactive glass, called Trinitite, was 10′ deep X 1000′ wide.

All who laid eyes on the monstrosity reported that the blast turned night into day. After the Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a short time later, humanity was forever changed. For the first time, we as a species were capable of suicide, capable of the extinction of the Human Race.

Following the detonation, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer 
is said to have quoted from the Hindu ‘Bhagavad Gita’, “Now I am become 
Death, Destroyer of Worlds.”

Currently, The Doomsday Clock, created and maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, now stands at 11:54, 6 minutes to midnight, and the fall of Mankind.

On this 65th. Anniversary of the Nuclear Age, let us ask, “What have we learned?”

You decide.

However, remember this: Nature Laughs Last.

—end transmission—

Adjuration for Rain

1 January 2k10

“The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution…mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind…”~John F. Kennedy

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.“~Hiram Johnson

“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.”~Jean-Paul Sartre

Searching our hearts, many Americans feel true grief, and a serious sense of disgrace, regarding our war in Afghanistan. This is to be expected. For many, the objectives which began this war in the first place have faded like a brooding, evening fog. We are left wondering if our stated primary goal, to unseat the tyranny of the Taliban, was truly our main objective, or was it really a deadly smoke-screen masking nothing more than a glorified pyramid scheme loosely called a “War”, which has been waged primarily to fatten Halliburton and their corporate cohort’s bottom line.

Meanwhile, we do the Taliban’s work for them. By planting the seeds of oppression in angry, disenfranchised, and vulnerable youths, we only make the insidious indoctrination by the Taliban easier to take root in their hearts.

I feel certain that our Service women and men consider it a war, having to face the lethal consequences of combat in often hostile terrain, or in urban areas filled with non-combatants, which impede their ability to completely defend themselves without endangering civilians. Even as the Taliban punish those who would help free their nation by branding them “collaborators”, they foster terror in the population, further hobbling efforts to help forge an independent Afghanistan.

However, here at home we are not facing the reality of this war. We are creating implacable enemies of a frightening percentage of a new generation in Afghanistan, and for what? Democracy? Such a statement is a grave insult to every citizen of Afghanistan, and also to our Service men and women who place their lives on the line every day. It is a war born of our monstrous foreign policy of a Democratized Earth and more importantly for our boundless thirst for oil.

Nevertheless, it is the people of Afghanistan who will suffer most in this war. And currently it is a war without a foreseeable end.

To our heartfelt dismay, we elected a President who promised to end this war. So far the Administration has only further entrenched us. With this poem, dedicated to all Afghani people, I pray you, Dear Reader, to plant a seed of empathy for the future. For the nation of Afghanistan, for all of the humans, soldier and citizen, caught in the fist of war, I call upon President Obama to stand tall and wage Peace.

~*~


adjuration for rain


Abdul Ghias, tonight you
eat the bread of foul grass,
bread of noflour and despair.

Famine squats bloated
in the bellies of your children,
calling your name.

How will you answer?
When the baking smell of nocakes
makes even your mouth water.

Abdul, for you I wish the paradise
of a mouthful of cool pomegranate,
the spring thunder of clean rain.

For you, I wish
almonds, dates, honey
and bread baked of Afghani grain.

~D.C. McKenzie


~Photo Courtesy San Francisco Sentinal~

—end transmission—