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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

Image source: Occupy Wall Street

Inside the heart of the invader
There is a cave where the corpses are stored
A cave of ice that keeps the bodies
From decomposing and putrefying
So the invader needn’t suffer the stink
Deep cold freezes the last expressions of terror
On children’s faces
Freezes the arms of dead parents
Around their slaughtered infants

The frozen bodies are neatly stacked
In the lightless cavern inside the invader’s heart
To make the most efficient use of space
So there will always be room for more
Because the bodies keep coming and coming
And they must be put away somewhere
The grandfather mowed down
In his olive grove
The teen picked off trying to get home to family
The pregnant mother crushed
By her collapsing roof
The toddler burnt to a crisp
By white phosphorous

Inside the heart of the occupier
Are bleak frigid factories that turn the murdered
Into building materials
For constructing homes on stolen land
With lovely gardens and swimming pools
Inside the heart of the occupier
Are bitterly cold prisons
Of torture and indefinite detention
For those who resist
The relentless encroachments
Of the mad blind machine

Inside the heart of the nation
In a cave of black ice
The explosive voice of self-righteous hypocrisy
Booms and echoes off the walls
We are defending ourselves
We are the upright and the good
We are the chosen and
All we do is the will of God

But there are other voices as well
Inside the heart of the nation
And inside the heart of the world
The small voices of grasses in green pastures
The healing voices of warm rain and still waters
The steadfast valiant voices of those
Who refuse to cooperate with bulldozer politicians
With marauding colonists
With tormentors of the rightful inhabitants
Voices nearly impossible to hear
In the roar of war and propaganda
But necessary to hear and to heed
If true justice is to roll down like waters
And true righteousness like a mighty stream

Buff Whitman-Bradley is the author of four books of poetry, b. eagle, poet; The Honey Philosophies; Realpolitik; and When Compasses Grow Old; and the chapbook, Everything Wakes Up! His poetry has appeared in many print and online journals. He is also co-editor, with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley and Sarah Lazare, of the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He has co-produced/directed two documentary films, the award-winning Outside In (with Cynthia Whitman-Bradley) and Por Que Venimos (with the MIRC Film Collective). He lives in northern California.