Two Eyes

For my friend Jamie, for whom I have much admiration and love across the great divide.

I hate war
there is
no greater evil

everything in war
hurts
it hurts everyone

death is the
responsibility of many
on either side

but if you are
the stronger
you must see

not with one eye
you must see
with two eyes

protect yourself
through seeing
with your right eye

protect the innocent
by seeing
with your left eye

oh Israel open
your left eye
and see

you must protect
all of the children
not just your own

that will be the
only way to
protect your own

Israel my great
passion I love
you

but I must
ask myself for the
sake of my friend

you are my friend
knowing you across
the great divide

I know that
you too suffer
and I ask myself

what about your
friend your friend
in Gaza

your friend suffers
your friend may be
lost in the war

of the powerful
how can I wish
your friend well

when I cannot see
the Palestinian
minority

how can I pray
for your friend
whom I cannot see

I must first
open my left eye
to see to pray

peace cannot
come to one for
it will not be peace

peace can only come
to both sides or
it is not peace

war kills so many
more innocent
than guilty

somehow the guilty
seem too often
to escape war’s pain

there is too
much rhetoric
around the world

too much noise
being fueled by
too much opinion

turn your opinions
into prayers
for both sides

pray for peace for
both sides or it
will not be peace

yes today I will
pray for peace
peace for the children

peace for the women
peace for the old
peace for the young

God bring peace today
make a peaceful
cease fire to last

today I have two eyes
I can see from both
let peace reign in Israel

Poems For Peace At Into The Bardo

I have learned a about war through it’s study and through a six-week shamanic experience that I had. But that is for another time. The experience gave rise to working with veterans in a creative writing program for two years at the VA. Another result of the experience was that I learned to fly a small aircraft (not getting a license just learning). Veterans writing assists them in opening their wounds and allowing the pain out so that something can be done with it. I also wrote a good bit of war poetry. I was never a war wife. I was lucky enough to only know the fear of having my ex sent to Vietnam. He was assigned instead to go to Okinawa, a place where I lived with him off base. The experience that I mention above was initiated by many long conversations over the Internet with a Vietnam Veteran B-52 pilot. It began in the USAAF forums as we each were looking for our father’s WWII history. His father flew B-24s mine was an Ordnance Officer.

The idea of peace (in this country) is compromised by many things. It is not just the Hawks in The White House or the dictators of another land, or the poverty of so many around the world that are the causes of war. War is addictive for many soldiers (soldier is used generically). It does not help that the military is totally cut off and separate from civilians. That is not a situation that engenders peacefulness within the military. There are those for whom combat is a higher high than an orgasm. I do speak of a minority of people. But it only takes one to start a war. The following is my favorite poem of all the war poetry that I have written. It is written about that time in 67-8 that I lived in Okinawa. It is the poem to which I feel the greatest connection.

Rolling Thunder

I remember them,
large black fins
in 67 & 8.
We’d drive to Kadena,
park the truck
watch them circle
like sharks
behind the security fence.

All we saw were black
shark fins … taxiing for take off,
B-52s lined up for Vietnam.
The NVA called them
Whispering Death.

Three years…860,000 pounds
of carpet bombing.

Rolling Thunder
coming out of U-Tapao,
Anderson and Guam, Okinawa.
They came in threes … Arc Light!

Coming from the 9th, the
22nd, the 91st, 99th, the 306th, the 454th, and
the 461ST, they flew at 50,000 ft,
subsonic speeds, refueled in mid air,
carried 70,000 pounds of mixed ordnance.

Known with affection as BUFFS
Big Ugly Fat Fuckers
Operation Linebacker.

Ten, twelve hours in the sky
peeing in a sleeve,
you either froze or you were scorched while
flying towards hell.

Clear left, limbs seen hanging
clear right, friends seen falling from the sky.

Then, the Christmas Bombings, SAMs brought them down
U-Tapao lost two in mid-air
One in each cell…one on final…the entire crew lost.

2009 © Liz Rice-Sosne

Shared at Into The Bardo

Moon Peace

Shouldn’t everyday be a peace day? Tomorrow is U.N. International Peace Day. I discovered this fact from “Into the Bardo – A Blogazine” I followed the links to Facebook where they have a page. St Louis, my home has a meet-up very close to home. I am ill and not able to attend but I can chose to meditate upon peace, pray for peace, hope for peace, participate in peace. Thank you Jamie for the heads up. And thank you Kerry from “Real Toads” for the prompt of the full moon inpart inspired by Neil Young’s: Full Moon Rising, to which I am listening now. The moon, especially when full has always held for me a very peaceful glow.

the time is now
the day is
tomorrow
the moon is
forever

her largess
can blanket
us
in peace
do not go
to the moon
with war on
your mind
no
allow her to
cover
this earth
in her glow
of white
her glow of
light
her peaceful
note
let the
full moon’s rising
initiate us each
into a peaceful
millennial way

it
is not
too late

sing
the song of
peace
in your heart
this day
allow the
moon
to rise
tonight
with a
peace
that works
for each country
for this globe
upon
the “Full Moon’s
Rising”

or
somewhere
where there is
just a half
moon rising

allow justice
to prevail
under any moon’s
rising

Shared at Real Toads and at dVerse.

Laura Star Rain

Sometimes I believe that there is an energy, or that there are some sort of threads in the universe that bring persons together in love even if for just moments. I wrote this poem for/about a woman within a fairly loose group of quite fine artists to which I belong, several years ago. She … her icon simply inspired the poem. We have never met. We were not even close. But circumstances made us close in a strange manner, but close none the less, perhaps as artists together. I never showed her this. Her Name is Laura mercer and she is on Facebook. We are connected and I am Liz Rice-Sosne on Facebook. I shall now for I have always felt that it WAS her. Initially I did this with all different sized fonts and letters dark and not so dark along with symbols. I cannot seem to do this here upon WP.

Laura Star Rain

She has dark moments …
She is one

… toying with her flames. Turning the knobs

This way and that … that way and this….off then on……………..

Colors.

She is all about

color. She must have it.

It … fuels her.

Long flowing
Strokes of sensuous color … watery … rain from stars.

Snails in a galactic state of oceanity

Permutations of ??quarks?? born near

Water hamlets …

Badland flat rocks … for salamanders to dance upon.

Here is one of her whimsical and lovely paintings the sort of which inspired me.

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Posted with glee and delight at Poetry Pantry # 164 over at Poets United.

The Afghan Middle-Class

I have not written a poem in some time. I have not been inspired – and I cannot tell you why. Perhaps with age comes an inability to multitask. Perhaps I have been gathering inspiration and now it is time to write a bit.

The New York Times is my computers Home Page. Some of you know that war has long given me inspiration. Today one of the headlines is: “34,000 U.S. Troops to Exit Afghanistan Within a Year.” This headline has five photos next to it, yet they are a part of another article titled: “New Afghan Middle Class Fears for the Future.” Each photo is current. I find the first photo riveting. It is modern but looks like a painting done in the fashion of realism, but set in the latter 19th century. Poem linked to dVerse Poets Pub OpenLinkNight Week 83.

The Afghan Middle-Class
Your country in ruins, toppled, rubble all around you.
Yet oblivious you stand at the bar ready to drink the blood of your brothers.

Yes, you are the middle class, the class that capitalism and war have built.
In your dark Brooks Brothers suit you stand at the bar Martini in hand.

Confidence gives you a slight aura of a halo. But it is the wrong color betraying your motives.
You don’t see those behind, pressing about you, men and women in tribal dress.

For you it is about the money, the power.
For them it is about little pieces of freedom.

How long will her face be uncovered, her dark glasses go un-cracked?
What peace has come to them through ten years of war?

War torn, this a country of fragmented pieces without peace yearns
To be put together and made whole. Will you rebuild with these shards, this detritus of war?

Or will the broken buildings simply become bunkers for the next battle?
As I look beyond the holes in the earth, the dusty playground, I see new tombs of the rich, ugly monolithic apartments built with acts of corruption.

They create a backdrop for war-youth playing kickball in the dust.
Afghanistan has a new and fragile middle class.

A middleclass made all the more fragile by a thin partition,
the wall pushing back against poverty, ever present.

The headline reads: “Fears of the Future Haunt a Budding Generation of Afghan Strivers.”
The strivers are in their tall semi-safely constructed compound.

They are separated from the youth playing in the dust of the street.
The strivers are mere feet from poverty. How long before they fall to the next war predator?

Always the illusion of safety, created by the money of corruption separates one from poverty, until poverty comes knocking on your door again.
Better, so much better to dismantle the wall yourself and meld with a piece of that poverty, lifting up rather than separating.

Yes, what will become of the middle-class?
The middle-class is in their wasteland.

Blog Blast For Peace – Nov. 4th 2012

Frankly, no one has ever said it better than Martin Luther King. Yet, he was murdered. He was cut down in the prime of his life. As much as many would like to forget him, he will never be forgotten. I am deeply bothered that I never see streets named after Martin Luther King in the middle of town. The streets with his name that I have found are only found within African American neighborhoods. He worked for peace for all. And yet the mainstream white community does not honor him. Why do we kill those who wish for and work for peace? Why do so many pious Godly people start wars, kill peace makers, back the death penalty, and fight the notion that “we are all one?” Is it because peace gets in the way of making money?

“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Words and photo taken from Blog Blast For Peace Facebook Site