Monday, May 29, 2006

In observance of Memorial day ... 
The following poem is by an Iraq war veteran named Brian Turner

AB Negative (The Surgeon's Poem)

Thalia Fields is under a grey ceiling of clouds,
just under the turbulance, with anesthetics
dripping from an I.V. into her arm,
and the flight surgeon says The shrapnel
cauterized as it traveled through her
here, breaking this rib as it entered,
burning a hole through the left lung
to finish in her back,
and all of this
she doesn’t hear, except perhaps as music—
that faraway music of people’s voices
when they speak gently and with care,
a comfort to her on a stretcher
in a flying hospital en route to Landstuhl,
just under the rain at midnight, and Thalia
drifts in and out of consciousness
as a nurse dabs her lips with a moist towel,
her palm on Thalia’s forehead, her vitals
slipping some, as burned flesh gives way
to the heat of the blood, the tunnels within
opening to fill her, just enough blood
to cough up and drown in, and Thalia,
she sees the shadows of people working
to save her, but she cannot feel their hands,
and she cannot hear them any longer,
and when she closes her eyes
the most beautiful colors rise in darkness,
tangerine washing into Russian blue,
with the droning engine humming on
in a dragonfly’s wings, the island palms
painting the sky an impossible hue
with their thick brushes dripping in green…
But this is all an act of the imagination,
a means of dealing with the obscenity
of war, what loss there is, the inconsolable
grief, the fact that Thalia Fields is gone,
long gone, about as far from Mississippi
as she can get, 10,000 feet above Iraq
with a blanket draped over her body
and an exhausted surgeon in tears,
his bloodied hands on her chest, his head
sunk down, the nurse guiding him
to a nearby seat and holding him as he cries,
though no one hears it, because nothing can be heard
where pilots fly in black-out, the plane
like a shadow guiding the rain, here
in the droning engines of midnight.

Turner published an anthology of Iraq War poetry last year.

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Nicely said, that poem. I look forward to reading more.

One of my favorite remembrance poems comes from WWI - For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon. The more well-known stanza goes:

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Dave, that poem's recited every year on the 25th of April for ANZAC Day. Always brings tears to my eyes.

Lest we forget.
I just googled "Iraqi War Poem" and I found this poem,

I've never been in the military, due to a heart murmur back in the Vietnam error, but I have the maddest respect for those that have served their country since my son's service in IRaq

I thought I share with you a poetry website that has touched me alot, at http://www.teamtruth.com/poetry/po_iraq.htm
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