Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Drones

A child looks up,
begins to run:
the drones are coming,

raining bombs
on the undefended
in the name of

Forgive the villagers
for not appreciating
the "help,"
for they lose sight
of how this will ever
their basic human rights.

Peasants bombarded
under a morning sky,
just another slice of
a toxic political pie.

Amidst the rubble,
in a dented kettle,
Grandma brews a cup of tea
to comfort those 
who have survived
the bombs of the Free.
She has seen it all before,
and it  makes her spirit sore.

No making sense
of insanity;
she doesn't even try,
for next week
more bombs will fall
from this same sky.

AP photo

In the soldier's hearts,
outside the compound,
enraged by the death
of their very own,
the flame of hatred
and revenge
is sown.

There is no chance
this anger
will  find any
With bombs
there is no way to
forge a lasting peace.

[At a recent conference of international countries, the legality of unmanned U.S. drone vehicle strikes was questioned. Venezuela called drones "flagrantly illegal" and said that, by its accounting, only about 10% of casualities were "targeted individuals". "This is like a collective punishment," Venezuela's representative said.]

posted for Susie's challenge at Real Toads: to write a protest poem. I always can find a lot of things to protest. Drones are the latest unfathomable atrocity to come to my attention. I so relate to the ancient grandmas over there, trying to keep the children alive in the rubble.


  1. I have always been against the idea of drones. It just seems wrong.

  2. ugh....the raining bombs on the undefended in the name of freedom...that line says enough right there...ugh...makes war impersonal

  3. Awesome...well written and inspiring. Thank you.

  4. The bombs on remote.. and collateral damage... ughh,, awful really.

  5. drones give the politician a chance his hands are perceived to be clean... pushing a button still leaves blood on many hands...

  6. this was a great poem about a topic that we need to be protesting. It's hard to perceive how evil drones are.

  7. You're passion comes out in this poem loud and clear. A great example of how effective poetry is in communicating to others about injustice

  8. I feel your anger, disgust, frustration seeping through my monitor ~~~ I share it. Great write, Sherry.

  9. love these strong protesting words.....

  10. I've really never let myself think about them, because they are unthinkable. Thank you for opening my eyes, my friend. It hurts, but you are right, and I was hiding my head in the sand.
    Luv, K

  11. Oh, Sherry this needs to be heard loud n' clear! Your poems reveal sites that make us cringe and should..where has humanity gone?! Sad, so sad...

  12. Amazing, isn't it, to think that in just 100 years since World War 1, the leading nations of the world have learnt how to kill one another more effectively and remotely, but haven't learnt how to forge lasting peace.
    Bombing for peace is just about the most insane thing I have ever heard.

  13. I echo Kerry's statement: 'Bombing for peace is just about the most insane thing I have ever heard'. Reminds me of napalm and wanton bombing during Vietnam. Never saw the faces just the chard landscape and bodies strewn about. Careless destruction by uncaring human beings for life.

  14. Unfortunately, the targets are never unmanned. This is good stuff, Sherry. Your pen is on fire.

  15. Oh! That is a thought provoking write. Men kill men... there is no end to it because there is no end to politics.
    Very well-penned.

  16. Hi Sherry--the drones are certainly a big issue and problem. I'm not sure that I buy the accuracy of a Venezuelan accounting (I don't), but there's no doubt that there is "collateral" damage, as they call it. It's all problematic. As the close relative of a service man I would not want him manning a strike and as a New Yorker, I do not want strikes in New York, and I understand that it's very hard to target people who probably would very much like to strike New York. That said, I also believe violence begets violence and I'm sure that a great deal of hatred and ensuing violence comes out of it (as you write) and I have a great deal of sympathy for the grandmothers -- as well as the young men and women (needless to say children. (All awful.) And your writing of it is wonderful. I don't think you oversimplify it--I guess I think some of the comments oversimplify it! I mean, I'm not in favor of drones! But I don't think it's just as simple as men being political. It's also a matter of men wanting to keep women down endlessly, and no one wanting to share wealth and resources.

    You are very right too--a lot easier to press a button than to do something more direct. Agh. Thanks. k.

    1. PS--I'm not in favor of drones! And I don't think they should use them so readily. What I find difficult, truly very difficult, is that it seems that some people they target would very much like to target the West, even in the absence of the drone strike. There is always an issue with something like a "pre-emptive strike". Does a country want to do it? Because it is unjust and terrible. Or do you wait, until there is a strike or something else and then decide. I tend to be a waiter--I'm not in favor of pre-emptive action particularly, but if I am honest, I also know that if people I care about in New York are hit, I will question the whole thing again--and I'm sure my country would then say that there should have been a pre-emptive strike. I guess that's what I mean when I think it is more difficult maybe than it seems. (Though I agree it all seems pretty crazy too.) Thanks for letting me rant. k.

  17. so well said, Sherry, with such empathy and intelligence. i do think this should have a wider audience.

  18. When it's faceless, nameless somehow people believe it to be blameless. I loved your protest poem, Sherry, and the powerful images and ideals you shared.

  19. Our government calls innocent human beings "collateral damage," which is as insulting as referring to genocide as "ethnic cleansing."

    Your anti-war poem hit SO many places in my heart and my gut, Sherry. My country's government has dropped more bombs and killed more troops and civilians in the name of "peace" than any other. Kerry's right.

    We all share the blame when we don't protests. Toxic political pie is PERFECT. All to "protect American interests," which means oil we want and places that can open a new Starbucks... like Beirut. I'm so disgusted by drones in particular. Some geek in Washington plays a video game and a village is wiped out. What the hell? Where did the Obama I helped elect go? Thanks for the message of healing and hope on my blog.... you know... and thanks for one of the finest protest poems I've read so far. PEACE, Amy

  20. Sherry, this is a powerful piece. Weapons will never bring a lasting peace. Too many innocent people die in this world's insane push for political dominance. Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge!!

  21. somewhere, we lost our way, in so many ways. ~

  22. ..flip side - we've also saved more lives than any other country. I also would question a Venezuelan source. I am all of keeping our soldiers as say as possible - drones used properly and specifically for intended targets (not whole villages!) I have no problem with. BUT - I do worry about the removal of the "human" emotional element of "seeing" war - not just a remote button pushed, a screen watched. Of course my heart bleeds for the innocent - When war is in your backyard - the reality is very personal indeed. Statistics mean nothing.

    Powerful write.

  23. War is grotesque no matter which way you slice it. I believe it to be the greatest evil on earth. You have expressed yourself very effectively. This is a good poem. Although many consider me a flaming liberal I am also a Hawk! That said there is nothing about war that I like. And if fighting one, there is nothing that I wouldn't do to enhance the safety and abilities of our own forces.

  24. There's nothing wrong with the drones. It's not even the hands that operate the remote controls. It's the twisted brains that decided who and where to bomb These are elements who exist without conscience. Thanks for sharing Sherry!



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