A Poem by Robert Burns

A Poem by Robert Burns

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AGENT ORANGE, VIET NAM

A Poem by M. Lapin

–because of the website http://www.projectagentorange.com

Earth cannot be cruel
holding everything Eden —
allowing seed and life
to come from its grip
and the spirits, too, deep
from buried sleep.
They wake within
the hull of rice, the shell
of grain, the skin of tomato,
the sweet fruit chom chom,
mang cau, the mighty dragon.
The spirit finds its place of rest
deep in the cavity of the living,
never to die, to be remembered
always, one descendant
to the next, season after
season. Earth cannot be cruel,
but we can be, killing
everything with evil,
trapping the spirit in a soil
dead and poisoned.
Earth holds Eden near
and waits until whatever
this sin might be
and finds a way to forgive.
Then the spirit comes home
in the produce of the land
to find its final resting place
one descendant to another,
a marriage of inner peace,
land to life, life to land.

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A Painting by józef Czapski

A Painting by Józef czapski

See also: Józef Czapski
A LIFE IN TRANSLATION
by KEITH BOTSFORD

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DOWSING

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

During Monsanto & Dow Chemicals

One blade of grass
will weather all seasons,
trawl a spider’s thread
through the Chimera wound
as D-Day approaches.

Listen. Do you hear the crib
shrieking empty
in the holster
of the wind? That’s
convergence!

One blade of grass – flexible,
covets the key
to antiquity
and stays
the discus thrower.

Not of this era – passers-by mistake
transparency for rubble.

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Helping a neighbor suffering from Agent Orange

An essay By Morris Dean

I learned today that Michael H. Brownstein, the author of a little book of poetry I’m reading, happens to be the head administrator of Project Agent Orange. Learning this reminded me of an email from a friend the other day. His area of Mississippi was hit by a big storm this week that knocked out the electrical power. The first official notice said power was expected to be back on by 10 pm.

But as 10 o’clock approached, another notice said the power might not come back on until 4 am. My friend said the second notice really got his attention, because one of his neighbors is a Vietnam Vet who is dying of COPD, because Agent Orange messed up his lungs. My friend thought the vet had enough battery power for his breathing equipment to ride out a 2-hour electrical outage, but not enough to last until 4 am.

My friend went to check on the vet. And it was a good thing he did. The vet’s emergency tanks weren’t working and all he had was a small side pack that was almost out of air. The vet had tried to get the people who supplied his tanks on the phone but they were closed. He was in pretty bad shape.

My friend knew that the vet had a generator in his garage, so he pulled it out. But he couldn’t get it started. All he had to see by was a small flashlight, and it wasn’t providing enough light. My friend asked his wife to go see whether their next-door neighbor could bring a bigger flashlight, which he could and did. With the added light, they found the generator’s on-off button and were able to get it going. Next they began running extension cords to the vet’s air pump, so he could breathe better again.

My friend also crawled into the attic and plugged the vet’s A/C into the generator. The next-door neighbor went back home, but my friend and his wife stayed with the vet awhile, pouring themselves some of the vet’s Gentleman Jack and visiting with each other until the power came back on, at about 11:30.

—Morris Dean is the editor-in-chief of the blog Moristotle & Co. [https://moristotle.blogspot.com/].

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Hush

A Poem by Stefanie Bennett

She died, and the micaceous almost summer winds
Dizzily scudded across Arizona
Via the Pacific Crest
Piercing Sacramento’s side.
Neither dust
Nor blind intervention
Rattled that topaz blue.

She left, with a casket of leaves embellishing
The motorcade, her wish
Homely attuned
As it lassoed the sweet aroma
Of ponderosa
And a spotted owl’s
Digital refrain.

This – the forest’s logbook accentuates
In incised resin
The colour of rain, while
‘Days of Our Lives’
Winged on cable – and
CNN’s disfigurement
Abetted
The able.

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Untitled

A Poem by Thomas L. Brown

Monsanto muddied the waters, Monsanto muddied the landscape,
burnt the hands of children and took the fingernails of men
left the cancer to grow generation after generation
squashing everything in its way and while greed makes its debut,
the spirit within earth, the spirit of earth, the spirit that was earth…
trails towards the polluted streams of Dow Chemical,
napalm, Agent Blue, Agent Orange.

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