Meet with the Mothers
The following poems were written by Bob Silverberg, and appear here with his gracious permission.
Bob is retired after 50 years in boadcasting. He is a U.S. Navy veteran of WW II, and a member of the Cape Cod chapter of Veterans for Peace. He may be reached at olRob(at)aol.com.
Don't look, Don't See
Behind your warlike repartee, Mr. Bush
You don't look, and you don't see - Mr. Bush
For as you plot there with your claque
Battle actions in Iraq
Mean one more amputee, Mr. Bush
Stop to see what war has brought, Mr. Bush
twenty-eight hundred dead for naught, Mr. Bush
They're not just numbers... they have names -
Jeff, and Michael, Rachel, James - *
Do you give them any thought, Mr.Bush?
And the dead are all so young, Mr. Bush
Those lives gone for reasons wrong, Mr. Bush
Boys and girls still in their teens
Victims of your war's routines...
Their songs of life will stay unsung... Mr. Bush
While rockets fire, and copters crash, Mr. Bush
You fly to luncheons, raising cash, Mr. Bush
And every day another dies...
Yet you fault those who criticize.
How can you dare to be so brash, Mr. Bush?
Soldiers shot at, blown up, burned, Mr. Bush
Wearing uniforms THEY have earned, Mr. Bush
And just in case you're keeping score
No one ever wins in war.
A lesson you have spurned, Mr. Bush
Keep the wounded out of sight, Mr. Bush
Fly the caskets back at night, Mr. Bush
How many more will come home maimed?
Why in this hell aren't you ashamed
Of the waste and horror in their plight, Mr. Bush?
One last thought before you sleep, Mr. Bush
For as you sow, so shall you reap, Mr. Bush
(*Actual names: Jeffrey Braun, dead at 19. Michael Mihalakis, dead at 18.
Rachel Bosveld, dead at 19. James Lambert, dead at 22.)
As The Parade Was About To Begin
As the parade was about to begin
The man on my side asked, "Which war were you in?"
My answer was easy. For me, World War II -
But it started me thinking - There've been more than a few.
How far back does one want to delve?
Certainly this side of 18 - 12.
Of course not the Civil, nor the battle with Spain.
(Did you forget to "Remember The Maine"?)
Raids into Mexico... march in - and march out
Does someone recall what all that was about?
Oh yes, Montazuma... and Tripoli's shore
A Marine's Hymn now, but 2 battles before.
Oh the Yanks were coming... "Over There" men
They called it the World War. They didn't number them then.
The "War To End Wars" it was called, until when
Some twenty years later, we did war again.
"Stop the Commies from spreading" was the idea
That brought Viet Nam shortly after Korea.
And then in a phrase of "newspeak" distraction
One was called war, and one a "Police Action".
And not long thereafter in a way strange and odd, a
Battle group stormed up the beach at Grenada.
Panama, Bosnia, small wars infinite...
Just little stuff... unless you were in it.
Afghanistan... Gulf War I, Gulf War II...
Does the government have nothing else it can do?
What a sad human failing - and national sin
That so many can answer, "Which war were you in?"
The battle was over - the opposing armies had since left the area
Survivors had moved on to the next hill - and the next -
The trees were shattered, splintered, burned
Their twisted trunks like black and white negatives against
a full color background.
Trees destroyed and left to die... 'cause they were there when the war went by.
We walked carefully down the hill, observing and side-stepping a trip wire
across the path - a wire attached to the pin of a hand grenade.
Below the slope was a native home - surprisingly still quite intact
As we reached the hut we came across three bodies -
A man... a woman... and... a child.
A family simply living alone... in what had become a battle zone.
No way of knowing - did they hide - or why they dared to step outside.
But across their doorstep... side by side -
That was where this family died.
Not their choice to live or die...
They were home when the war went by.
"Mona Lisa" redux
with apologies to composers Ray Evans & Jay Livingston
Condoleezza, would you please a-dress our query –
You’re a lady with a shady cryptic smile…
When we question, your suggestion is we believe you –
That that “mushroom cloud” was true – for just a while.
If one’s shameless, then one’s blameless seems your credo –
Your “integrity” protected by your guile…
Many threats worked their way to your doorstep –
Did they die there…or did you lie there ?
Were they real – what’s the deal, Condoleezza ?
Or is it that you’ve worked your Con game to an art ?