A war is not a war…

“Truth” it has been said, “is the first casualty of war.”
Philip Snowden in his introduction to Truth and the War, by E. D. Morel. London, July 1916, p. xi.

Somewhere there’s bombing—
not where you are…
Somewhere there’s bombing—
maybe Kandahar?

Somewhere skies rain artillery shells nonstop. Night and
day—Day and night… Twisted, tortured rebar bones of
high-rises surrender as pulverized prisoners…Windows,
doors and floors are crushed with concrete dust and
debris on rubble-strewn streets—Slippery with blood,
brain and guts— Near scorched, Swiss-cheese cars…

Somewhere there’s shelling—
not where you are…
Somewhere there’s shelling—
maybe Côte d’Ivoire?

Somewhere haunting wailing and moaning punctuates
puzzles under shells of burnt-out buildings. Do empty
shoes and sandals—limbless torsos, decapitated bodies—
offer clues to where it is? Does viscosity of the blood in-
form us? What about bloody blankets, the bent blue bike,
Books and papers?

Is it Palestine? Yemen? Ukraine? Is it Tripoli, Kabul or
Baghdad? Addis Ababa or Allepo? Any tips from the
rhythms and inflections of cries? Do rattling wheels of
Refugee luggage offer a clue?

Somewhere there’s killing—
not where you are
Somewhere there’s killing—
maybe Myanmar?

Call it an operation—non-invasive outpatient procedure—
Call unscheduled surgeries medical mishaps. Leave amputees
and decapitated patients for loved ones to mourn and the mass
Gravediggers to bury…
Address Orwellian medicine men as Dr. Goebbels as they put
patients on low-calorie diets of unknown knowns and known
Call pre-op scrubbing the airwaves of “Blowin’ In The Wind,”
“Peace Train,” “Imagine” infection control. Then declare:
“The Friendship Train’ ain’t runnin’—You’re either with us, or
you’re with the enemy—and truth will get you 15—instead of
setting you free…”

A war is not a war—
It’s a Special Military Operation. Land Mass Amputation.
It’s Manifest Destiny. It’s a Desert Shield; a Desert Storm
for Enduring Freedom during Q2 through
Q4. And it’s not personal—it’s Business…

Our Saturday marches plant tiny seeds—small
stubborn possibilities. May we learn to cast our
lots with lunch bucket crowds. Remember the
Essential ones? The ones who one day will say:
“Enough! We, too, are ILWU Local 10—We refuse
to lend magic of our hands to merchants of death! We
refuse to load and unload WMD!” And could that day
be the day body-armored workers join in; turning tools
with triggers on grifter generals/blood-lusting bosses?

Former forklift driver/warehouse worker/janitor, Raymond Nat Turner is a NYC poet; BAR's Poet-in-Residence; and founder/co-leader of the jazz-poetry ensemble UpSurge!NYC. Read other articles by Raymond Nat, or visit Raymond Nat's website.