Sunday, April 27, 2008

One Single Impression Part 1: Flowering

I'm posting two One Single Impression posts this week. I thought there was going to be nothing from my brain this week and then this came pouring out this morning. Clearly, it's not a haiku. I'll add a second post with some haiku shortly... hopefully. Oh! And this is my 100th post - or as my friend Rich at the Foothills of Opinion calls it, my "100th bloggerversary."

There Will Be No Flowering of This Youth

They come home in body bags or flag-draped coffins

Barely acknowledged except as numbers

There will be no flowering of this youth

Or the countless collateral dead

They will not hold smiling babies in their arms
Kiss their wives, husbands, lovers

There will be no flowering of this youth

And other burnt-out damaged lives

Will wither on the vine
Of our indifference and inaction
As madmen hold sway
Spending lives with reckless abandon

To purchase power or oil
Or "victory" - whatever that is - at any price
There will be no flowering of this youth

I was told once
"You become the thing you hate"
Never has it seemed more true
Than when the acceptability of torture

Can even be discussed

And young men die abroad

As their country is destroyed from within
There will be no flowering of this youth

Meanwhile, as bodies pile up and families grieve
The rest of us do nothing

We barely feel the pain unless the dead belong to us
And the coffins continue coming home

Along with the wounded and spirit-damaged
Here and everywhere

While the world's heart is breaking

There will be no flowering of this youth

- Katherine E. Rabenau


18 comments:

WillThink4Wine said...

Oh my Goodness, Raven!! This is quite a powerful poem. I am moved to tears.

We barely feel the pain unless the dead belong to us is just all too true.

Wow.

Dianne said...

An incredible way to honor 100 posts - each one made me happy or sad or angry. Each one made me feel and brought me closer to knowing what a good friend you are - to me, to many, to the universe.

This poem should be read by everyone, everywhere.

zoya gautam said...

..the above two remarks voice my sentiments.moving lines
these.congrats on the 100th post!thank u..

MyBellavia said...

Raven,

This is without a doubt the most moving message I have ever read. There are so many insights here. What you have created with this weeks prompt stopped me in my tracks. I commend you. Wow!

Pam said...

When I flew to Seattle for Spring Break, we arrived to find police, fire trucks and ambulances with the lights flashing and everyone standing at attention. The pilot announced that they were there to honor a fallen soldier whose body was being transported on our plane. The rest of the passengers stood and applauded the navy sailors who were providing the escort, but I just sat and wept.

This poem is very touching and so true. Thanks for sharing it.

STP said...

I will just say that I am applauding at my computer.

Edward S Gault said...

I used to read poems like this and only agreed with them. Now that I have child myself, I feel them too.
A great deal.
I can't even imagine what familes are going through that lost their child to this idiocy.
You did a great job here.

Edward S Gault said...

I used to read poems like this and only agreed with them. Now that I have child myself, I feel them too.
A great deal.
I can't even imagine what familes are going through that lost their child to this idiocy.
You did a great job here.

LN- Nickers and Ink said...

This one totally struck me, particularly as we just lost a young friend in Iraq.

Now . . . it has become PERSONAL.

THE SCOUT – A SALUTING SCENE FOR A U.S. MARINE (for Ricky), at Nickers and Ink

SandyCarlson said...

Thank you for taking this risk with this prompt. Flowers, light, youth...But you chose a different part of our reality, and you created a beautiful, strong poem. Thanks.
Writing in Faith: Poems

Vixen said...

So haunting are those words, no flowering of this youth. So well written and moving.

Congrats on 100, too.

Beloved Dreamer said...

This is a poem that needed to be written. The dead are dead and they don't come back. Only their bodies come home. You can salute all you want but they are still dead.
Wonderful, it should be printed in ever paper in the U.S.
Very powerful and just TOO REAL!

love-bd
NOMOWAR

gardenpath said...

Very powerful, and one I am going to keep.

Carole said...

This is one powerful poem. We do become what we hate and the cycle goes on. This is a haiku I wrote four years ago:

Between terrorist
and terrorized imagine
a two-way mirror.

Congrats on your 100th bloggy...Mine came and went without me noticing.

Quiet Paths said...

I have a lump in my throat now.

tumblewords said...

Powerful words - excellent work! Excellent!

tt said...

** clapping with a smile and tears***
Congrats on the 100th post. Here's to 1000's more!!**clink of my glass to the computer ;))

Loved the poem. Made me think of my brother who died in VietNam. Only 21..so young...gone too soon..deffinitely no flowering of his youth.
You have such a gift.
Thank you.

onemorebeliever said...

painful must read... congrats on 100.. one cannot help but to remember vietnam...