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Tuesday, August 01, 2006


(a note on spontaneity
of combustion)

by Carol Elizabeth Owens

“The current crisis is part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror in the Middle East…[a]nd as we saw on Sept. 11, the status quo in the Middle East led to death and destruction in the United States, and it had to change.” George W. Bush [New York Times (on-line) Jul. 31. 2006]

it’s real--
this big theory
wherein the religious
(whether left or right) wait in wings
while airy peacekeeping
missions station

at flash-
points & guns blaze
as the sun has its way
with the tender skin of safety
chafed, a bomb is long sought
wars cost, of course

are mixed
with gilead
as israelis, arabs
iraquis and americans
start locking their hot stocks
of explosive

loaded barrels
are often expensive
when exchanged in the battle’s heat
maneuvers must be smooth

call them
balms, whether smart
or stupid — it’s dirty
to drop folks like flies or bad words
they serve us at arm’s length
and we’re not one
leg up

Carol Elizabeth Owens is an attorney and counselor-at-law in Western New York (by way of Long Island and New York City). She enjoys technical and creative writing. Her poetry has been published in several print and virtual publications. Ms. Owens loves the ways in which words work when poetry allows them to come out and play. The poem "bang (a note on spontaneity of combustion)" is written in a form called eintou (which is West African for "pearl," as in "pearls of wisdom").