Monday, September 21, 2015

International Day of Peace



This morning I read the New York Times article about the Afghani military practice of raping boys and young men, even at military bases. It's a sign of status for upper-level police and military to surround themselves with these boys. Evidently, our military, the ones we support with not only our tax money but our hearts (and if we don't we're called treasonous or cowards), have been instructed to basically turn away from what is determined to be a cultural thing. The article explains that many of our military have shirked from "turning away," have "beaten up" some of the Afghani men who they've caught with boys and -- well -- I wish I had words, but this is about the best I can do. I won't even go into why the hell we're still "over there," why we appear to be, now, (and arguably have always been) a colonial power, and the whole magnitude of the thing we've wrought as a country since that terrible day in September, 2001.

International Day of Peace, indeed. I guess it starts at home, so I'm going to continue the disconnect that is the disease of this country and refrain from telling my boys that if they don't pick up their wet towels from the bathroom floor, they will be lashed with wet noodles. I'm going to go quietly and gratefully into the bathroom, pick them up from the floor, fold them inward on both sides, like I like it, and hang them just so, just where the light illuminates their neat blue folds.




The poet C.K. Williams died today. Here's a poem:

Claws

    from the Sanskrit of Mayura

The claws of the mighty nation dabble the gore-pools
and wallow the muddy flesh of the horrible enemy.

Human mouthfuls plucked like reeds. Hearts, plucked.

The claws dancing in the torn chest like herons.

MAY THE MIGHTY NATION PROTECT YOU!

7 comments:

  1. Some things just feel too big. This is one of them. I think folding towels is a perfectly reasonable response after reading something like that.

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  2. Man's inhumanity towards men - somethings are just too hard to grasp.
    The envisioned illumination of light on those neat blue folds is a good antidote.

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  3. The path narrows, doesn't it? Any words or acts that feel less than kind are no longer tolerable. If we can't be the cure, then perhaps, as your readers say, the antidote, at least to keep from poisoning ourselves additionally. The word atrocity becomes so common. Then what word can we use? xo

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  4. Man is the least humane of all creatures, at least as far as I can see.
    I have no more to say.

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  5. I'm folding laundry...I wish the world was a different place and that we were not such bullies, and I come from a military family. We have paid such a high price for insane policies, poor governance and inane politicians...As for rape as a cultural thing...has anyone looked at our culture lately? We need to clean up our own back yard in that regard, too.

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  6. I read it too. I felt so helpless.

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  7. That was a horrible story. It definitely made me consider the limits of cross-cultural tolerance.

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