Page VIII
 
 



Lebanon 1982
 
 

Echo-chamber of mind reverberates with death toll
no hope no hope
Digital readout illuminates White House basement
crisis center
Bathrobe President watches seconds pass
Camera steady, moves in
"A look of distinguished concern"
Print
All the liberals die in the ceasefire
 

Binoculars scan the city horizon
One hundred artillery pieces move into position
Tanks squat nearby like toads
The bombardment begins
Smoke rises high as empire state
Flames rush into the apartment complex
The fire was burning the stone
The Red Cross hospital disintegrates  Somewhere a man lifts
          a glass of water  Blood leaps from buckets in
          fright
The asylum patient runs screaming down the corridor of
insanity:  Hitler!  Hitler has
risen from the dead!
The walls of the nation collapse
Cockroach armies move among the rubble
Anti-personnel weapons are found on Capitol Hill
 

This is the logic of an expansionist state power
This is the advantage of high velocity fragmentation bombs
This is the triumph of a well organized lobby in Washington, D.C.
 

World doubles over in pain
Homeless nation strains to hold its vital organs inside
U.S. envoy dies of exhaustion upon
the anaesthetized table of negotiation
Bloodied axe of history sings in a guttural voice
its hideous german song
Carnage laid foot deep over body of earth
no hope
 
 
 
 
 
 

As the Latin American War Approaches
 
 

To listen for the sound of water
on distant shores
And hear only of men dying there!
 

It is a seashell, and I stoop low
The small ears of the Caribbean dead call out our name
Ears that fall into our laps as we open the morning paper
Small ears worn by the powerful
when they gather in the dying light
 

The General who offers
his first-born son
The river has a quiet, deep bed
 

The Financier who fixes his price
on the world market
The blown out oil wells, and children's hearts
 

And the Secretary of State
who saw good reason
in the mad junta's eye spaces
 

The rush-hour train groans and overturns
                    on the great curvature of the world
 

The population centers grow thin and ragged
          like the children of the poor
The fighting tosses and turns by fits, gets up
and marches into the ocean
The dead wash up at our feet
 
 
 
 
 
 

Poem for Immediate Disarmament
 
 

One moment ago
the almost split-second
 

Trees were trees
upstanding
in nature's design
 

The war of the bleeding branches!  Off
with their buds!  The battle
of the harvest moons!
 

One moment ago
 

Seas tasted
of their briny depths
 

The war of the capsized vessels!  Driftwood
to the pyre!  The seize
of the roasted marshmallows!
 

One moment ago

The word was voice
speech of it sound
 

The war of the silencers!  Handguns
for the inmates!  The battle
of the rattling teacups!  The overthrow
of the musical chairs!
 

One moment ago
the almost split-second
the almost spl  -
seco    the
almost sp   -se
the am lost
      -

One moment ago
 
 
 
 
 
 

CONTENTS
 

The Day After    page 1
Poem Against the Reagan Administration    page 2
At a Rally in Washington Against the Draft    page 2
America Revisited    page 3
Poems for a Small Place to Rest    page 4   page 5   page 6
What He Would Not Tell Him    page 7
Waking Poem    page 7
Moon    page 7
Laborers    page 7
Spring 1980    page 7
Lebanon 1982    page 8
As the Latin American War Approaches    page 8
Poem for Immediate Disarmament    page 8
To Whom It May Concern    page 9
Song of the Little Girl    page 10
 
 

to The Book of Awakenings