The Unanswered Questions of War

(Written just prior to the first Iraq war)

What do you say to the little girl’s mom

When all she has left is the child in her arms

And the girl is there, and the girl is dead…

What do you say to the little girl’s mom?

*Refrain:

What do you say when no answers come

When the battle is over and the war is won

How can you say it was worth the cost

When the one you loved most is lost?

*

What do you say to the mother whose son

Was killed in the war so that freedom is won

And the boy is there and the boy is dead…

What do you say to the mother at home?

*

What do you say to the young wife at home

When all she has left is the flag in her palms?

And her husband is there, and her husband is dead

What do you say to the young wife at home?

*Refrain:

What do you say when no answers come

When the battle is over and the war is won

How can you say it was worth the cost

When the one you loved most is lost?

*

What do you say to the little girl’s Mom…

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Dwight L. Roth 3/03 & 4/04 Originally written as a song…

Today at d’Verse, Bjorn asked us to write a war poem. War is such a tragedy, with so many lives lost and maimed. But the saddest part is collateral damage of children killed in the carnage. I was asked, before the first invasion of Iraq, what I thought about President Bush sending troupes over there. I said it will probably end up being another Viet Nam. A no win war with extreme losses. With the second invasion and the expansion into Afghanistan, it has become a quicksand for the US. This is my song I wrote back at the beginning, as I thought of all those families that would be displaced and permanently damaged by the war.

Join us at: https://dversepoet.com Then click on the Mr. Linkey box and read more.

Keeping Quiet

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I read this poem earlier this week and thought it was very appropriate for the time we are experiencing, with our stay at home order. Maybe a little silence would be in order.
KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Naruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

“Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet-diplomat and politician. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.”

                                                                                                                                                                ~From Wikipedia~

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

A Time to Remember

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Tuesday, August 6th is the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. People gather at the Peace Memorial to remember, to mourn, and to call for peace. Revenge is never sweet. The killing of innocent women and children puts their blood on our hands. Desperation often ends in disaster, whether individually or nationally. We must find a way to live and love in more peaceful ways.

Shell reminds us all

Silent echos still cry out

Who will call for peace?

Photo: Hiroshima Peace Memorial – Bing Photo

Frank Tassone hosts Haibun Monday at d’Verse Poets Pub. He asked us to write a remembrance of the destruction of Hiroshima for the anniversary tomorrow.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Fragrant Breeze

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Lilacs bloom fragrant
Perfume carried on the breeze
Summer’s almost here
Poppies sway // ripples flowing
Gently across Flander’s Field
Reminder to us
That war is filled with blood-shed
Poppies bleed blood red

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Written for Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge Fragrant Breeze. He also reminds us of the anniversary of D-day and suggested we incorporate that as well.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/06/08/haikai-challenge-6-8-19-fragrant-breeze-kunpuu-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

“Where have all the flowers gone?”

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Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, when fighting ceased, bringing an end to WWI. It was called the war to end all wars, but sadly we see conflicts and wars continue throughout the world. Some say war is Hell and I would tend to agree. Many brave soldiers lost their lives on the battlefield. The horrific atrocities that occurred were unimaginable. Our leaders have not learned from our past. The division in our country can only lead to further conflict in our own back yard. We must learn how to agree to disagree and move beyond our personal power trips. We must stop sending our best young people to slaughter in ongoing wars of our own making.

Armistice Day ink
Brings an end to bloody war
November snow falls
***********

Frank Tassone reminded us that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of  the end of WWI. The Armistice signed ended the fighting and killing that had raged on for years. He asked us to write a Haikai poem that mention Armistice Day.
Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/11/10/haikai-challenge-60-11-10-18-armistice-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Tomorrow is also Frank’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Frank!!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth    Title from Pete Seeger song:  “Were have all the flowers gone?”

Pray for Peace

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

Today is the day set aside in Japan to remember those who died or were injured in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Two nuclear bombs were dropped three days apart, the first on Hiroshima and the second on Nagasaki, wiping out both cities, killing mostly civilians in the horrific blast. The effects are still felt as people gather for a peace ceremony honoring the dead. The question that comes to my mind is why two bombs? Surely the death of 250,000 people in the first drop should have been enough to bring an end to the war. From the information I read, there were six bombs scheduled for dropping. What were we thinking?

Revenge is not sweet
Blue sky becomes mushroom cloud
Gray chill of death lingers

**************

Frank Tassone is our guest host at d’verse today. He is asking us to write a Haibun (short prose and a haiku) that reminds us of the chilling horrors brought about by the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan during WWII.

Join us at d/Verse: https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Unanswered Questions of War

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I was saddened to hear today that the Assiad regime is gassing those who opposed his rule. I cannot imagine the horrors of having houses and towns destroyed by bombs and guns. How inhumane to stoop to the level of gassing other human beings in hopes of retaining power. Why do the neighboring countries not rise up in protest and help protect the innocent. No one in the Middle East seems to care about what is happening in Syria.  No one is taking a stand against these atrocities.  War is such a destructive and devastating event. I wrote this poem as a song that simply asks “How do you justify war to those who lose the one they love most?”

The Unanswered Questions of War

       (Written just prior to the second Iraq war)

 What do you say to the little girl’s mom

When all she has left is the child in her arms?

And the girl is there, and the girl is dead…

What do you say to the little girl’s mom?

*

What do you say when no answers come

When the battle is over and the war is won?

How can you say it was worth the cost

When the one you loved most is lost?

*

What do you say to the mother whose son

Was killed in the war so that freedom is won?

And the boy is there and the boy is dead…

What do you say to the mother at home?

*

What do you say to the young wife at home

When all she has left is the flag in her palms?

And her husband is there, and her husband is dead

What do you say to the young wife at home?

*

What do you say when no answers come

When the battle is over and the war is won?

How can you say it was worth the cost

When the one you loved most is lost?

*

        What do you say to the little girl’s Mom?

***********************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Scars on the Landscape of Man

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Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sad scars on the Landscape of Man. Death and destruction are occurring daily in Syria and Iraq. When I think of the travesties of war that have been done over the years, I wonder when we will ever learn. Destroying one another does nothing to help this world become a better place. The struggle of good and evil is always with us. It is our responsibility to make choices that do not leave scars on the landscape of man.

Scars in the landscape of Man

What drives us to hate and kill our brothers

Is it the power being in control of others

Being the bully ‘cause we know we can

Spreading hurt and pain throughout the land

When will we learn to live in peace

When we help each other wars will cease

Instead men are bent on revenge and aggression

Of religion and truth and major suppression

Controlling the world creating oppression

It’s time we realize there’s a better way

Loving caring and watching what we say

Realizing there’s a future in history of man

With a good life in peace lending a helping hand

Imperialistic control demands that we fight

Creating hell and destruction sending everyone in flight

Destroying the lives of many young men

Leaving scars on the landscape of man

******************************

Photo of Hiroshima bombing disaster: http://ecosocialismcanada.blogspot.com/2011/08/hiroshima-and-nagasaki.html

The Atrocities of Being Right

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We have all heard the expression, “History Repeats Itself”. This seems to be as true today as it has ever been. When I think back over the many deaths that have occurred because we think we are right, it is really unbelievable. From the Crusades, to burning people at the stake, to drowning people accused of being witches,  to the holocaust in Germany, to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  to the massacre of Native Americans, to the bombings and beheadings still going on today, it is obvious to me that we have not learned a thing from history. We must work for a more peaceful way of living together. John Lennon, in his song Imagine, had that vision. We sill have to catch it.

The Atrocities of Being Right

Who decides what is right or wrong

This question is decided before we’re born

So who is really right and who is all wrong

Really depends on where you’re born

In India, in Iran, in China or Japan

Truth there is dealt a different hand

 

So sad the atrocities that have been done

Killing and maiming and burning the one

Who might disagree with our chosen one

 

How many buildings must we burn

Or suicide bombers take their turn

Life’s not important

We have no regard

As long as were right killing is not hard

All is done in the name of our God

Blessings on us and curses abroad

 

What atrocities we exact on the brotherhood of man

Torture, stoning, and fire, is our plan

With bombs and guns and deadly airplanes

All because we have the “truth”

 

We forget that in the heart of every man

Love crosses every span

Love can bridge the gulf of war,

Of bombs, of hate and so much more

Ironic that in every book

Loving your neighbor is what it took