Sunday, December 09, 2012

Reflection 4 : Sowing for the Next Crop

Newbery's Second Law of Gardening:  You get back more than you sow.

Sowing for the Next Crop.

In Nebraska
In front of a screen
Chewing gum
Wearing a cowboy hat
And listening to country music
A soldier plays a game.
The images move slowly
Buildings are like blocks
Grey.  Dusty. Remote.
Like old footage
From the moon.
Cross-hairs guide him
He pushes a button
And the block disappears.
He thinks nothing of it.

In Peshawar
In a family’s front room
Eating a wedding breakfast
And dressed formally
A family celebrates
The building of new ties
As they have done
For generations.
There is singing
And dancing
And laughter
And noise.
A terrible explosive noise.
But they hear nothing of it.

In Washington
In front of the press
Wearing all his medals
A general explains
That they have
A terrorist cell.
That they had reason to believe
The meeting was destined
To initiate future terrorist acts.
The irony is
That he is right.
But he’ll have nothing of it.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012

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  1. True. Another painful truth, that does not appear evident to all.

  2. Hard-hitting truths, sadly.

  3. You connected the three so well, and it really strikes the heart ... superbly written !!!

  4. Very thought-provoking. Nice

  5. Wow - your words really make one stop and think about what is going on in the world.

  6. A huge imperative thrumming issue - enlivened with these stanzas so real

  7. Well thought out poem, JC! It has impact in the truest sense of the word.

  8. This is very thought provoking, even terrorists wedd, or this was a mistake. I especially think the first stanza provokes. Distant killing, that's more like a video game.

  9. Very powerful and thought provoking! (all) War is hell and you've articulated this well in your poem.


  10. Overall, I like the harsh message.
    Meanwhile, for a touch of cynicism: In Pakistani homes, people are meeting to plan to bomb Hotels in India, kill and kidnap. What should be done about them.
    In large complexes tolerated by locals, the head of bin Laden prospered.

    BTW, I lived for a year in Pakistan (and once spoke Urdu) and have been a few times to Afghanistan. As for me -- I'd have no US involvement in the middle east at all, nor in South Asia. But we'd have to be comfortable with rise in oil prices -- which would certainly be worth the price. How would it affect you guys -- is Australia involved?

    Just a few questions on the poem.

    May I ask, why the Peshawar family did not hear anything of the explosion?

    Too use to the sounds?
    Or blown up and killed?

    So are you saying that the wedding breakfast was a meeting to start new terrorist acts -- since you said the General was ironically right.

    Or are you saying, that the act of bombing innocents will spawn new meetings of terrorists attacks.

  11. 1. Can't deal with all the world's problems in one poem :-(
    2. Blown up and killed.

    No, I am saying that every time the US arbitrarily and remotely executes people, often innocent people, they plant the seeds of hatred in the extended family of the dead. People who would never dream of terrorism now relish the prospect.

  12. YES! to the poem, and YES! to your comment just above. Pounding people into the ground is not going to make any friends, for certain. But does breed hatred.

  13. J, so very well done. It's very frustrating to see this happen over and over. Great poem!

  14. what a powerful poem, leaves so much to think about. well done

  15. Lovely and poignant, Cosmo. Sad state of affairs indeed.

  16. Well said - and you cannot deal with all the worlds problems in one poem.

    A soldier pushing a button remote from its consequences does not appreciate the ramifications of his action - nor does his government.

    War is a dreadful thing - whoever the perpetrator - and how easy the seeds of hatred are sown.

    Anna :o]

  17. I don't often read the other comments, hoping to preserve my reaction to the piece. This time, however, Sabio's lengthy response caught my attention. I am glad I read both his words and your response. The poem is powerful and thought-provoking, no doubt. Your perspective is clear and well-presented. I appreciate the scene switching and bird's eye view. And I hope we can learn ~ I know we will learn ~ that loving kindness will ultimately be the winning way.

  18. Re dealing with all the world's problems in one poem. Your first rank poetry speaks for itself Cosmo. I do not think you should be subjected to interrogations and analytical enquiries.Your considerate responses and endless patience is impressive.

  19. i liked the message of the poem, that more killings will lead to more carnage. even the form of the poem takes on the shape of a person's head, a bomb and a drone. (that's what i saw). no, a poem will not solve the world's problems, but it is the poet's voice, and must be written. modern wars are in shades of grey, and i think future wars will be fought over energy (read oil), or the lack of it. just my 2 cents worth. :)

  20. I agree with the praise--you've written quite an amazing poem. The notions were given aptly and directly, which I think is the only way to go with the topic.


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