This is the first addition to the mailing sent out earlier this week of some of the readings from the Poetry and Reading Circle, Field of Flags, Blue Hill Nov. 9
The Fog of War
Here is to the dead, those killed, for us, and by us.
To those who are dying now.
To the ‘incidents’ that happen.
The occupations that continue.
The mindless glorification of military solutions.
The terminology that grows softer,
as attitudes harden and hatred increases.
Inventions not to lighten the load,
but to erase the road.
Operation Rainbow, Operation Enduring Freedom,
Operation Summerrain . . . it sounds as sweet and coy
as calling the Bomb on Hiroshima – Little Boy.
There must be other ways, to deal with the pain.
To not side-step the blame or to mask our shame.
Diplomats specialize in refraining from it,
while the civilians die for it.
It’s a war against terror, one is sold,
but one cannot fight a noun, I was told.
One cannot colonize a land if you call it empty,
but when you do a body count, you’ll find plenty.
I’ve always been afraid of dying
in a foreign land
and not to feel at home in that sand.
Where would death find me and by what hand?
Then I heard that someone said:
‘We shall die in these bodies.
This is one thing certain of your place of death;
you are there now,
you sit within your corpses; look no further:
there where you are
you will die.’
Marlene Dumas, Amsterdam, September 2006