I talk to them at 3am, my children, I tell them about the Doomsday Vault in Svalbard, how it’s beset by melting permafrost; I talk about the hairy frogfish, the predator- prey cycle of life, how humans keep birds in cages, and how travel to Proxima Centauri b would take them 6,300 years, a little cosmic joke, ha ha; I explain that the gang-rape of a mother in Kyiv next to her child and dead husband is called collateral damage, that the weight of a butterfly of uranium destroyed Hiroshima, and that no single wild species depends for its survival on the Freak Show that is the Human Race; I tell them that we fail to learn from human history and how they are blessed never to have been born. ©️2022 K Price
When the sun turns
away to southern lands
we find ourselves awake
on a strange, familiar shore
where those who’ve gone
before sleep beneath moss
in forest graves, and wild apples
jump the fences
Across the Baltic Sea
history comes full circle.
What I noticed
were the birds:
the heron high
against a silent sky
so many pigeons, too,
symbols of peace, in view
the scavenging crow
safe to peck ground zero.
What do they know?
For more entries to this week’s WPC, see The Daily Post.
Things My Father Told Me
After the blast, there was no sound;
people’s shadows crushed into the ground;
the dark abyss of humanity’s soul
revealed by an act – unspeakable. Foul.
For more entries to this week’s WPC, see The Daily Post.
There was a time, when I was much younger, when I was afraid to fly.
I’m not sure why the change, but since a few decades ago, no longer do I sit white-knuckled in the belly of those big mechanical birds as they defy gravity. Perhaps it’s something to do with my attitude to death. I’m no nihilist, but I don’t necessarily view death in a negative light. My death, that is. The death of others is quite another matter.
The morning after MH17 was shot down, I flew long-haul. I thought not of plane crashes but of the shocking consequences of war, its terrible futility and the immense trauma and devastation that it invariably causes to human lives; of those people left behind, forever suffering the reality of the obliteration of their loved ones. And how this suffering so often leads to an ongoing cycle of violence.
In my hotel room, on the BBC News channel, night after night, images of the crash site alternated with sickening images of Gaza. How to make sense of the human that strolls casually amongst the mutilated dead, picking through aircraft wreckage and strewn personal belongings as if he were evaluating fruit at the local market. And of the human that bombs sleeping children as if crop-spraying pests. How do we get to this?
A week later, on my way to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport for my flight home, my hosts, who insisted on accompanying me in the taxi to the airport, chatted with the taxi-driver in Vietnamese. I heard the word “Malaysia” and asked if they were talking about plane crashes. They were. And they expressed their alarm that there had been three in one week. I thanked them for their tact, and we all laughed.
Once boarded, I started reading The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh, and thoughts of the taxi conversation were forgotten as the book caused me to reflect on how human memory and the subconscious mind work both for and against us in life: the need for revenge versus the need for peace; how we dehumanize “the other side” to make ourselves feel better about what we do and about humanity as a whole; and how memories play a role in our undoing.
Eventually I slept but was bedeviled by catastrophic dreams – we ditched in the South China Sea, a flotilla of boats waiting to rescue us; we made an emergency landing in a busy city street, the fuel-laden left wing barely missing an advertising bollard; I rescued long-dead loved ones from a burning wreckage in a field of sunflowers..
.. the subconscious mind doing its best to exert control over that over which we have little.
Despite our best efforts, accidents happen; death happens.
But war does not just happen; it is made by humans, the likes of you and me.
Trapped inside a system of prejudice
A re-posted poem –
crimes against humanity.
man made this abomination.
war’s enduring legacy.
Experimentation, humiliation –
Who needs victim’s approbation?
War has no such aspiration.
our final destination.
For more entries to this week’s photo challenge, see The Daily Post at WordPress.com
those students always chatting
watch without whisper,
‘Night and Fog‘ their silencer
crimes against humanity
man made this abomination
war’s enduring legacy
who needs victim’s approbation?
war has no such aspiration
our final destination
This week, I’m delighted to feature guest blogger Richard W. Bray, author of ‘Laughter hope sock in the eye’s blog‘.
Spoils of Victory
The girl who showed (the dreary child)
With countenance both sad and mild
Was from a bloody land exiled
I’m told the nation of her birth
Is now a gory mound of earth
Warlords, weapons, wealth and worth
Unrestrained appetites will devour
And human beings will kill for power
Terror, torture, bloody towers
The weak and hateless are first to suffer
When demagogues urge us tougher
The meek will bleed; the rough get rougher
Life is fleeting, profits certain
And who is that behind the curtain?
Blackwater and Halliburton
It behooves the species to isolate
Those abject monsters who live for hate
Instead, we make them heads of state
To whom could we ever hope to atone
This fateful error bred in the bone?
Live, kill and die alone
Wash your hands, take a rest
Count the ways that you’ve been blessed
And struggle against all who would attest
That they drop bombs to make men free
While screen-addled drones like you and me
Consume the spoils of victory
© Richard W. Bray
Richard W. Bray is a writer and educator who lives in Southern California.
He has commented on several blogs under the names get real, fredo bush, aka fredo, like totally down, calpubserv, humeaudenparker, and perhaps a few monikers he has forgotten about.
You can reach him at email@example.com