Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Prelude to War

There is political complexity to this, I'm sure.
But impressions stand stolidly in the face
of observation. He wanted his invasion
even as he was stealing the presidency in Florida
and as he was climbing ground zero under a sky
still crying soot and ash. Millions could see it.
Citizens of the world's greatest cities poured into
their streets and they flooded like over-burdened
rivers after torrential rains. There was hope that all
the faces and voices rising from the flood might
convince America there is legitimacy in reason
and sound evidence, not pre-emption. Yet,
the bastards veiled Picasso's Guernica,
covering the symbols of war's brutality. Where
is the screeching woman who is half there?
Her arms stretch across the fiery sky, spanning
the East and West, and she makes her fingers
fly like hooks clawing the rungs of heaven
or the hems of God's holy habiliments. Hidden
is her terrible expression invoking deliverance.
But there will be no God for her in these days.
And this is why they hid from sight the horse,
possibly representing the Apocolypse, racking its
neck, widening its eyes, and spreading its mouth
so wide from screams it must have chewed down
the burning sun. So great is the pain
and this revelation of war.

13 comments:

Pris said...

Excellent poem, just excellent!! Your use of imagery brings it completely alive!

Michael Parker said...

Thank you, Pris.

David said...

I agree with Pris, this is very terrific. What's really great about it to me is, I ended up liking it even though i didn't necessarily start out wanting to. Oh no, I thought, yet another political poem. But the images in this one completely won me over.

One possible consideration, if you're of mind... maybe totally strike W's name from the poem and just go with the nasty pronoun HE.

e.g.

HE wanted his invasion...

Michael Parker said...

Thank you, David. (I'll change it to "he." In a way, I like how impersonal the non-naming makes it.)

didi said...

email me your address please.

thank you.

Didi

J.B. Rowell said...

bravo Michael bravo

Michael Parker said...

Thank you, J.B.

Lee Herrick said...

i like this a lot, michael! i like the opening line and later, with the lines starting "the bastards veiled Picasso's Guernica..." very nice!

Michael Parker said...

Thank you, Lee!

Jill said...

late to the party..but this is moving stuff. your poems grow on me.

Michael Parker said...

Thank you, Jill.

AnnMarie Eldon said...

I would have commented on this had I been around. Sooorryy. Great work. It's good to just be gushing and not have to gloss over some minor technical hitch I would want to rewrite myself. SO glad to see something political. Yeeha.

Michael Parker said...

Thank you, AnnMarie.