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Sunday, April 08, 2007


Easter Sunday 2007 - Poems of Brian Turner

The Holy Week ended. Perhaps the only good news was the release of the 15 British sailors and marines by Iran. The war in Iraq and its terrible toll (3275 U.S. soldiers and countless Iraqis dead) have become major concerns for Americans. The unjust war that our nation was conned into cries out for an end. But not going to happen. The neocons hatched the plot for war long before 9/11. Bush, Cheney and others put it into action when Americans were in shock and vulnerable. Now they will not, cannot, admit their role in the mess that they created. Many more will die.

Further reading:
Cheney Sticks to His Delusions
How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War
The Secret Downing Street Memo

Baghdad, of course, has become a familiar name to Americans. But other Iraqi cities in the theatre of war (Fallujah, Najaf, Mosul, Kirkuk, Balad,Bequba, Basra, Samarra among them) are not that well known. Came across poems by American soldier Brian Turner in NPR's web site.


The ghosts of American soldiers
wander the streets of Balad by night,
unsure of their way home, exhausted,
the desert wind blowing trash
down the narrow alleys as a voice
sounds from the minaret, a soulfull call
reminding them how alone they are,
how lost. And the Iraqi dead,
they watch in silence from rooftops
as date palms line the shore in silhouette,
leaning toward Mecca when the dawn wind blows.

Najaf 1820

Camel caravans transport the dead
from Persia and beyond, their bodies dried
and wrapped in carpets, their dying wishes
to be buried near Ali,
where the first camel
dragged Ali's body across the desert
tied to the fate of its exhaustion.

Najaf is where the dead naturally go,
where the gates of Paradise open before them
in unbanded light, the blood washed clean
from their bodies.
It is November,
the clouds made of gunpowder and rain,
the earth pregnant with the dead;
cemetery mounds stretching row by row
with room enough yet for what the years
will bring: the gravediggers need only dig,
shovel by shovel.

From Here, Bullet. Copyright 2005 by Brian Turner.

List of soldiers who died in Iraq in the first 7 days of April.

Jason R. Arnette, 24, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 01, 2007
William G. Bowling, 24, Army Specialist, Apr 01, 2007
Robert M. McDowell, 30, Army Sergeant, Apr 01, 2007
David A. Mejias, 26, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 01, 2007
Eric R. Vick, 25, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 01, 2007
Miguel A. Marcial III, 19, Marine Private 1st Class, Apr 01, 2007
Brian E. Ritzberg, 24, Army Specialist, Apr 02, 2007
Curtis R. Spivey, 25, Army Specialist, Apr 02, 2007
Bradley D. King, 28, Army National Guard Sergeant, Apr 02, 2007
Daniel R. Olsen, 20, Marine Lance Corporal, Apr 02, 2007
Shane R. Becker, 35, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 03, 2007
Gabriel J. Figueroa, 20, Army Private 1st Class, Apr 03, 2007
Jerry Clark Burge Jr., 39, Army Staff Sergeant, Apr 04, 2007
James J. Coon, 22, Army Private 1st Class, Apr 04, 2007
Jason A. Shaffer, 28, Army Specialist, Apr 05, 2007
Anthony Palermo JR., 27, Army Captain, Apr 06, 2007
Joseph C. Schwedler, 27, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class, Apr 06, 2007


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