Impossible to overstate how distressed I am about US forces returning to Iraq . Once again a US president – this one, unlike the last, vaunted for intelligence – has made the same inane remark that “the dead must not have died in vain.” Vanity being the operative word here – on everyone’s part.
I wrote the following the last time we ran this loop – still applies:
These Are the Flowers Sprung from Blood
These are the flowers sprung from blood,
anemone, violet, poppy, aster
blood of Adonis, Attis, Aegeus
blood of mothers, lovers, fathers,
daughters, sons, a thousand
legions of unknown warrior dead
buried in the fields of Mars.
I. Anemone speaks:
Windflower they call me
wind to which I open
wind fickle as the love of Aphrodite
who kept Adonis by her side too long
incurring Ares wrath, who slew him.
It’s said the goddess sprinkled nectar
into his bleeding wounds‑ commingled
drops, falling to earth, engendered me.
2. Violet cries out:
Love Idyll – two hundred names
from which to choose. Who could guess
Attis died to make me, emasculated
beneath a pine tree by his own hand
for love of Cybele. For centuries
her rites continued, year by thirsty year
demanding male sacrifice upon the Day of Blood.
3. Aster tells her story:
She changed me out of pity.
capture, rape, dismemberment and death,
sprinkled magic pollen on my sister’s face.
I watched it change beneath the moon
blossom into yellow golden rod.
When she came to me
I opened mouth and eyes
welcoming the dust.
We are the flowers sprung from blood
born from myth and metaphor
alive in Flanders Fields and on the Plain of Jars,
look for us in Normandy, Shiloh, Khe Sanh,
on San Juan Ridge and Pork Chop Hill.
Search between the burned out cars
in vacant rubbled lots. You’ll find us in Fallujah.