Sunday, November 25, 2007

Collateral Damage


Let if be when,
and let when be whenever
the carrier churns its wake
into a frothy Arabian dream.
The children on the roof,
the old men talking coffee and kif,
will be born again
when the afterburners scream.
And then we shall all wake
and thank mighty Zeus
that the wooden horse could lock and load
on the peasant’s curtain door.
We will be grateful
that adulterous Illium burns once more,
that Cassandra’s tales of collateral misery
were the first casualties of war.

Copyright, William Hammett, 2004
Picture: Public Domain

6 comments:

Wayne said...

That really is powerful writing, and invigorating reading.

Billy said...

Thanks, Wayne. I was using tighter imagery and syntax for this and the last poem (Picasso ...). I've experimented a lot through the years.

Shameless said...

Great turns of phrase ... and yes, powerful is the word! :-)

Billy said...

Thanks, Seamus. When I wrote this, I had just seen a newsreport on collateral damage, and my hackles were up.

jason evans said...

I've always bristled at the term "collateral damage." So outrageously dehumanizing.

Billy said...

The term, Jason, is indeed deplorable. It is an indication that some people are expendable, not really human at all. In Iraq, there may be anywhere from 50K to 100K civilians dead. The shame is that nobody really knows.