FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Three Poems by William Farrell

by POETS' BASEMENT

The Condescension of Mercy

At that moment

the largest thing in the world

was that eye,

deer, brown.

And the deepest breaths

and the loudest were his,

pitched on a side,

chased as if by wolves,

wheezing out a bloody muzzle,

teeth broken, antler useless,

unable to resurrect within himself

the buck he once was.

 

The stoop of mercy came

in the short vowel a shot gun exclaims,

and as the slug spread into its brain,

the eye that fixed us all left its socket

and stared at the world as it was,

the uniformed executioner apologizing

to no one for everyone

as the deer tried to run through

the air with its last legs.

The cop, a stand up guy,

telling any who would listen

how he hated to see that.

 

The Haunt of War

The General writes his memoir,

the usual stuff:

the vice of war,

the stains on a uniform,

trying to come clean

so that he may live with himself

at the White House Wedding

and the National Cemeteries,

through the hand shaking and back slapping

of his peers and the policy makers,

the salutes of children.

He learned French at the Academy

and never used it.

He was taught the lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

killing civilians as strategy.

He believed enemies, under maximum fire power,

would buckle.  Only, in his war,

they didn’t buckle.

The cost of war became too much.

He was forced to retire,

gloriously.

At the burn center, his trust in God

faltered.  He saw his belief in all

its manifestations.  How it was born,

how it lived, how it withered.

His daughter is the only family left.

She loved her father, and for the record,

states he died an unhappy man.

 

 

Lament

          “Only The dead have seen the end of war.”

Plato

 

I live close enough to trains

to hear them at night,

and far enough away

to feel lonely when I do.

 

Before all of our loves

we will nurse a single hate,

coddle a great fear,

sanctify our wrath,

and bless our children soldiers.

 

Before all our empathy

we will bleed a single principle,

enlist the easy lie,

come out of the closet with God.

 

Smart bombs mock our intelligence.

Dead civilians – and we are all civilians –

walk from my imagination to a TV screen.

The do not look at me;

they will not pass quickly.

 

I have sympathy for the many,

influence over the few.

I live close enough to trains

to hear them at night,

and far enough away

to feel lonely when I do.

 

M. William Farrell is a retired postman who lives in Milwaukee, Oregon. He has read at the state legislature and and elsewhere but is reluctant to commit his poems to print. He has appeared in the Portland Review and in Mr. Cogito. 

This edition of Poets’ Basement was guest edited by Robert A. Davies, the author of Melons and Mendelssohn. He can be reached at rjdavies3@comcast.net.

 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://www.facebook.com/poets.basement. To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump. It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
Vijay Prashad
After Aleppo: the State of Syria
John Wight
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier
Rob Urie
Meet the Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs
Eric Sommer
U.S.-China War: a Danger Hidden from the American People
Andrew Levine
Are Democrats Still the Lesser Evil?
Linda Pentz Gunter
What’s Really Behind the Indian Point Nuclear Deal?
Robert Fantina
Trucks, ‘Terror’ and Israel
Richard Moser
Universal Values are Revolutionary Values
Russell Mokhiber
Build the Bagdikian Wall: “Sponsored News” at the Washington Post
Yoav Litvin
Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats’ Game of Thrones
David Rosen
Return of the Repressed: Trump & the Revival of the Culture Wars
Robert Koehler
War Consciousness and the F-35
Rev. William Alberts
The New Smell of McCarthyism Demands Faith Leaders Speak Truth to Power
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail