Thursday, April 24, 2008

In The Name of War

A casualty of war.
Yet there is nothing casual about this.

Soldiers fighting a war we don't understand.
21st century Vietnam.
Innocent, terrified children
caught in a crossfire of political murkiness.

Who is this soldier -
whose tough exterior weeps
at the sight of blood
shed senselessly by the young?

Who is this soldier -
whose distraught heart is felt
palpably in the manner
in which it holds the child?

Is this a mother -
Is this a father -
Or, is this a young soldier
who has a girlfriend back home?

Did this child remind them of their own,
or of someone they know?

Fighters -
Protectors -
whose instincts to shield
innocents from harm know
no language,
no religion,
no color -
no politics.

It is primal,
first in importance -
above all else.

Above all else.

I see this and weep.
I weep in sadness
for the young
who do not understand
why they are being harmed.
What did I do wrong?
What did I do wrong!

This is their question.

I see this and weep.
My heart filled with sorrow
for soldiers who bear
the eternal weight and scars of war:
physically wounded -
emotionally maimed -
spiritually exhausted.

And I pray -
in support,
in solidarity,
for and along with soldiers
who each day humbly request -
Lord, please let me live another day,
for I believe I am making a difference.

A casualty of war -
A casualty of life -
A casualty of hearts -
all in the name of war.

In the name of War.


paisley said...

this is a heartbreaking but extremely timely piece... and i fear we are really going to loose a lot of the "boys" we bring home to mental illness as we did in the case of vietnam as well...

a sad state of events in any light....

Robin said...

War is devastating enough when you truly believe in the reasons you are fighting. When you don't, or worse, can't, it is unspeakable. So much loss of life on both sides, so much suffering, so much hatred created, and for what? For what?

A very strong piece Rebecca, thank you for sharing it.

Greyscale Territory said...

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia. This hits hard!


GreenishLady said...

A very powerful and heartbreaking image and words. Haven't we learnt enough about the reality of war to know it's time to stop?

suma said...

what a strong piece..and heartbreaking too...needless los of life ...why?

i wish we could gift our children a world of peace...

Anonymous said...

no words...just teary eyes.
thank you for posting this.

murat11 said...

Rebecca: I like your surprising conflating of casualty and casual.

Interestingly, you posted this on what Armenians consider the day they memorialize the genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

Peace to you.

jadey said...

I want to thank you for this post. It is a wonderful post for our soldiers their families and victims of this war. The picture breaks my heart as my eyes fill with tears. I pray for our soldiers and thier families please let them come home safe.

Granny Smith said...

I weep, as I have wept so often about the cruelty and heartbreak o war. The picture is stunning. Thank you for this post.

Billy said...

Political murkin ess says it all. Great poem. Very moving.

pepektheassassin said...

War stinks.

PixieDust said...

I weep with you...


Tammy said...

Your words and that shot moved me deeply. "A 21st century vietnam" was something I had not thought of until I read the words.

Bless our soldiers.


Mandy de Waal said...

Hello Rebecca. Thanks very much for visiting my blog. And war. As someone once said: "What is it good for. Absolutely nothing. Say it again...."

Scribbler said...


keep it rollin;)

linda may said...

He is a man with a heart.
great post.

Amarettogirl said...

What a riveting and powerful piece - not just the images but the words. What a distinctly powerful way to address the words - the future.

We are creating these horrors and yes it does make me weep too. The world needs your words and message - this deserves a greater audience too.
thank you for sharing it I have been deeply moved.

Constance said...

a thoughtful and interesting poem. :)

Beloved Dreamer said...

In the name of war? Yes that is the question. Powerful and moving.


Selma said...

This made me weep. I know a couple of Vietnam vets who have been destroyed by war. Both of them have said they would rather have died during the war than deal with the trauma of life afterwards. It is inhumane to put people through this. It is one of the things in life that fills me with despair. What a marvellous piece.

San said...

heart wrenching really. very moving words.

Rob Kistner said...

Bravo! Excellent piece, moving, questioning, and the photo is honest and brutal...

The great quandary of war, the contradiction -- killing and violence to bring what, peace, safety? If it were about peace and safety then a war of 'offense' need never have occurred.

War is about money/power, the brutality and needless death are a horrific byproduct.

"Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?"

Rambler said...

you got this so very right..really outrageous in the name of war

murat11 said...

Rebecca: I'm honored to have been added to your bloghim/her roll. I have returned the favor.

Best wishes to you.

tumblewords said...

Wonderfully concise and touching piece - Outrageous, indeed. Outrageous.

chennairamblings said...

This is beautiful
And perhaps the soldiers are the biggest victims of war.
The administrators send so many young men to die for no cause that can excuse such a waste.

Midsummerprism said...

Yes, I am wondering..what is name of that soldier..Who is he?

Everyone, no matter what nationality or how far remote he may be from the actual battlefield is affected by war.

My own American father who was a soldier died in Vietnam before even seeing me get born.

Cynthia said...

A shame this war, an unnameable
shame, and no one will ever be the
same again.

Day Dreamer said...

We never learn do we? We keep repeating the same mistakes over and over.
Its hard when you can't keep other's pain from seering you to your soul isn't it? But I wouldn't be any other way, and my guess is, neither would you.