Clashes of Culture

Operation Enduring Freedom:
Relentless retaliation for
the crushing fall of Twin Towers.
A violent evil attack on democracy
in a world of cultured casualties.
Those Twin Towers spoke of Power and Greed,
Racism and Sexism. To a pacifist teenager
they were Arrogant. Audacious. Symbolic:
Gross icons to capitalism, all that is wrong
in her enronomic native land. Land of the Free,
where today in southern Midwest USA, white-hooded
malevolent terrorists claim human lives, roam
reckless with guns, can legally be. This country,
America, has no place for difference.
Like a volcano, rumbling through generations
in hatred and ignorance, cracks in the great
American melting pot now erupt to confront
a new humility, an acceptance
that other people's worlds                     do exist.

But sadly, it's still the same old bugles, blowing
trumpets of war. Siege mentality. Emotive
bagpipes for death. Drums for marching.
Machine guns of battle drown all rational discussion.
Send in the marines! A call to arms is praised.
Wave the flag! Patriotic jingoism. God is on our side!
Priority: precision weapons, high-tech-unmanned-armored-vehicles,
the very best to wipe the cruel enemy out.
Forget the innocent for they do not count.
Sorrow and more bloodied human faces;
Collateral Damage: families destroyed.
Unending grief for mothers, daughters, sisters.

There's money in these killing machines.
Empires are built by terrorists. War Barons Rule.
Heroin from pretty poppy flowers' lethal harvest
will prick pretty young veins of Europe. Opium Wars
rage, make money, as do black spouts of crude.
Oil buys food. Commodities with bargaining powers.
Threats and sanctions. Everything's for profit.
Everything's for freedom.

Parents want to feed and educate their children.
People need more than a diet of grass. Women want
to live in safety. They have this human right.
This catastrophic chasm: the gap between
rich and poor is greater than ever.
Around the world it continues to grow.
This is a war on poverty where hopes always
should remain and must be fed to stay alive
with freshness of new starts. Where equality
and tolerance means the same for you and for me.
Fear-free for the teenager of tomorrow
with or without the veil, in the temple or
in the mosque. And you quite rightly ask,
Who is the unseen enemy of the universal soldier?

Just when will the fig tree bloom?



published New Verse News, September 11,  2005