The Dust of Us

Here’s an old poem for Memorial Day. I wrote it back during the Yugoslav Wars, when so much was in the news about the suffering of people in that part of the world. It’s sort of an amalgam of images, mostly refracted in imagination, that for me has become even more poignant in the years of perpetual war misbegotten by Bush and his minions.


We are driven to the desert
father; sage and red gravel.
Our backs to the ocean, sounds
of locust and snake.

After days and nights of shoes
crunching on basalt and throb
of blood in our ears, we can
see mountains of blue flowers.

After the crossing, men lost
in the village, homes and fathers
left behind, children shuffling
in the heat and flies,

after the mud in dry places,
the cries of the dying and the news
reports, the dust of us will
feed the flowers by the tracks.

Father, I will water your lilacs
again, and I will sing from the rocks
on your grave; my voice above
the laughing of the wind.

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Blue Flowers by J. Kyle Kimberlin is licensed
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weapons are the tools of violence lao tsu