The Perfect Blind Spot

A piece from 2003

Poetry by Richard Weekley

The Perfect Blind Spot

–General Tommy Franks

Hashim Kamel Radi we do not count you.
But you are gone forever. You were 22 and
on a bus, perhaps thinking of a book to read.

Jalal al Yussuf you were just 17
and perhaps were wondering
what to eat for lunch.

Ibrahim al Yussuf you were only 12.
Perhaps you watched your big brother die
before you eyes that day in Zambrania.

We don’t count you either.

Out of sight out of mind
just like the coffins arriving daily at Dover
no one sees.

There’s Invisibility all around us.
Can you FEEL it?

Can you sense Ahmed al Rahal’s last grimace?
or hear Sufian — the Jordanian student’s scream.

We can calculate every millimeter to Mars
and land a rover
but we can’t count you.

For you are an uncountable.

America sends in great teams and spares no expense
to rescue one lingering soul from an 8.1 temblor

but maybe you heard

we can’t count you.

–the mind’s made up

head in sand

the perfect blind spot

we can’t count you

because: seeing is BELIEVING
–we must keep citizens from seeing
to stop believing–


USA – land of liberty and justice for all
unless you’re
Fateha Ghazzi or Nada Abdallah, 8 and 16 on March 24th 2003
you’re not counted
and nearly nobody knows your name

You died by orders from the top
so it’s okay

and your death won’t upset a single U.S. household
or lose a single vote

and you know
we had to be preemptive:
it was us or them

Your leader was mad
and ready to wipe us out on moment’s notice.
Didn’t you hear?
so I hope you understand

we don’t mean to say one thing but do the other
and we’re sorry if liberation feels like occupation

after all we know we’re right or
it wouldn’t be called: Operation Iraqi Freedom

Please Faris and Saif, 11 year old twins,
please consider yourself
freedom’s casualty

we’re not naming names or keeping real score
and please remember it’s best this way

with no b-o-d-y counting.
first posted: POETS AGAINST THE WAR . Com

Poetry: what if by Jerry Danielsen

What if?

What if we didn’t wage war, no matter what?

If our knee jerk reaction was always peace?

Like a junkie throwing away the needles
we stopped injecting power into the war machine
and we cleansed our spirits with peace –
no matter what –

What wound happen then
to the people who say
our enemies are evil

When it turns out
most of them are just
people too?

To rebuild our economy based on
peaceful activities
and clean energy
and clean living
and chanted the mantra
every time the machine threw
a temper tantum

That world would be better.


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Poetry: War by Jerry Danielsen



Is a mental disease
masquerading as a solutionAnd the addicts
need their fix
no matter what the cost

The taking of what isn’t ours
the belief that since we’re always right
everyone else is always wrong

Them or us mentality

Prevents even a healthy debate of
creating a department of peace

Or helping the world
instead of trying to control it.

For all the cost of bombs and battleships
we could feed the world

Assist with affordable health care
for the world

Then our enemies would shrivel
under the power of love

There would be no reason for all the damage
with hearts and minds in alignment

If we would actually be a true force of good
and put our words of exceptionalism into action


Recognizing the beauty
of cultures different from ours

Making friends
through compassion

If we’re going to perpetually wage war,
the war on poverty here at home
should be the main battlefront.
~ Jerry Danielsen

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