Saturday, October 31, 2009

The War


Several of my friends, who are suddenly much older, have been summoned to “the war.” It breaks my heart to see them as they arrive one by one, uprooted from their families, lives, and cares, to receive their orders and gear. One with whom I’m very close stops at a little wooden booth called the “supply depot,” but the only supplies left are pencils. He takes an unsharpened one from the counter, then turns and looks my way. His questioning expression reminds me that I’m supposed to accompany him to the train, which I haven’t seen, but imagine as a human cattle car like those Solzhenitsyn described in The Gulag Archipelago. But instead of showing him the way, I lead him out into a field of bones, thinking, “Someday, someone, somewhere, has to say no.”

Added yesterday to the Annandale Dream Gazette.


Recently Linked: My thanks to Barbara for sharing my poem, “Crows over a Cornfield,” on her blog, cloudpapers. Thanks also to Pallav Gogoi for signing on as a follower of Recently Banned Literature. You can visit his main blog here.

6 comments:

Caio Fernandes said...

this is silently touching Willian .

i am fron a country without no oficial wars .
the wars are in our grandfathers that came to south america after the 2nd war .
is on the 60's and 70's dictatorships the turtured and killed hundreds of thousands of students on my parents generation .
is on the selfdestruction of my generation and street fights that made me be one of the few health survivers of more than 70 kids than hanged out togueter in my neighborhood .
if someone somewhere someday has to say no ....
i think i won't live to see it .
i lived to see an explosion 2 metros in front of me and other people's arms and legs flying . the only thing happened to me was that i got a piece of bone in my mouth . i got there , no reaction , opened mouth watching bodys flying .
the next second of this , i remenbered when my gradfather told that every day many granades exploded in front of him . i got in shock because of just one explosion , and he got hundreds !!! to survive is a very surrealistic experience .
why i am writing all this !!! hahahahh!!! sorry .
see you !!

William Michaelian said...

Write all you want, Caio! You’re probably writing this for some of the same reasons I’m dreaming it. Lots of strange things recorded in these brains of ours...

awyn said...

Caio and William: In dreams, in flashbacks, in random wonderings come these images, insisting on being brought forth, as reminders--but--who's sending them? Voices from history, from one's past... our expressing that in a painting or a poem, also, is a way of "saying no," is it not?

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Annie. Yes, it certainly is. It’s a way of saying no, and of reminding oneself and others that no needs to be said, and that we have the power to say it, and to live our lives accordingly.

Joseph Hutchison said...

Powerful stuff, William. The last sentence brings to mind Rexroth's translation of Tu Fu, in which the Chinese poet looks out over a battlefield: "The moonlight shines cold on white bones." The chill of it is ancient and sad. And yet, there have been some—Rexroth among them—who did say no....

William Michaelian said...

Quite true, and let us hope the number is much greater than we, in our gloomier moments, might expect.

And now I have to find a copy of One Hundred Poems from the Chinese....