Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sayonara, Caballero

On the morning of August 21, 2009, my great good friend, Stan Gildersleeve, passed away in Costa Rica (where he had moved to enjoy his last years) at the age of 73. We only met personally one time in San Francisco a few years back, but our acquaintance through intense Internet message exchanges spanned the last two American presidencies, giving the two of us unreconstructed "Leftists" more than sufficient reactionary imperial absurdities to lampoon. I will miss him more than words can say -- but I thought I'd try a few words in memoriam, anyway. He didn't speak Japanese, and I don't speak Spanish as well as he could, but I think he would understand my heartfelt meaning:

"Sayonara, Caballero"
(A farewell to my irreplaceable friend, Stan Gildersleeve)

I lost you, friend, the other day;
I never saw you leaving.
You got away before I knew
You'd gone beyond retrieving.

Oh, how I miss you, friend;
The older brother that I never had;
A fellow spirit, wiser, sometimes mad;
Iconoclast and engineer, a blend
Of anarchy and insight wild and glad;
A life too large for death to really end.

I never got to say goodbye,
There at the final curtain.
You went your own way in the end,
As you had lived, for certain.

So, now I’ll never know
What next you’d say or do because you thought
It better to contest what fools have wrought;
That we should seek the truth, not live to show
What all our greedy, grasping hands have bought;
That we should work to save, not spend to owe.

Without you, who will call Fraud’s bluff,
And give its lies a grilling?
Your passing leaves a vacuum: huge,
Without a hope of filling.

Still, I will do my best
To live my own remaining days as well
As memories of you will help me tell
The time left on the clock: the only test
To pass before the tolling of the bell
Calls me to join that vast, eternal rest.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2009


The Terrible Worm in his Iron Cocoon

Back in Counter Insurgency School -- before deploying to Southeast Asia with the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent (Vietnam 1970-72) -- our lifer instructors would read to us from our textbooks about "winning the hearts and minds" of our "little brown brothers," etc., etc. Then they would close the books and say, "Enough with the bullshit. Just grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow." Judging from the never-ending quagmires in IraqNamIstan, current military/imperial doctrine appears not to have changed or become the least bit more effective in the last forty years. Ungrateful foreigners just never seem resigned to having America invade, demolish, and spend decades occupying their countries. Who could ever have imagined that? In fact, the flat learning curve of invading Crusader armies goes back centuries in the Middle East, to a time when the locals had an accurate and colorful discriptive term for the murderous, metal-clad meddlers, namely:

"The Terrible Worm in his Iron Cocoon"

The terrible worm in his iron cocoon:
The knight in his armor enclosed,
Has gone off again on a global Crusade
Which has left his own country exposed.

His lines of supply girdle heaven and earth;
Expenses grow terribly huge;
While folks back at home find themselves unemployed,
Yet they shrug, after them the deluge.

Or so they suppose as the flood of lost jobs
Washes over their living room floors,
While off in Iraq, and Afghanistan, too,
Our troops break in through the front doors,

Then haul off the males in the household to jail
For “being of age” to resist:
A “crime,” we insist, ‘cause our saying makes “law,”
Enforced by the gun and the fist.

The troop in his tank behind sunglasses blank,
In his man-from-mars uniform finds,
That grabbing the native oppressed by the balls
Beats winning their hearts and their minds.

Now bankruptcy rules in the land of the fools
Where the terrible worms got their start
Then charged off to do what the world would soon rue
As not worth the tiniest fart.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2009


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Thanks for Nothing

Benevolent invader of my land
How can I thank you for the helping hand?
Why, had you not come here with awe and shock,
Reducing my poor home to piles of rock,
I might have raised my children safe and sound,
But, thanks to you, I’ve laid them in the ground.

A wife I had, once too, but now no more.
She died one day while driving to the store.
Some nervous mercenaries that you hired
Screamed something at her once, then aimed and fired.
The bullet-riddled windshield told the tale:
That "freed" of life, our women need no veil.

Your generals have come so many times,
Yet never have to answer for their crimes.
Instead, promotion weighs them down with stars
But never, like enlisted men, the scars
Resulting from the bungling and sheer waste
Of thinking slow but shooting first in haste.

On nine-eleven, two-thousand-and-one
You got a taste of what you’ve often done
To countries that had never caused you harm
Yet still, too late, you sounded the alarm
And whipped yourself into a lather thick
So you could hurt yourself with your own stick.

Three thousand on that fateful day you lost.
Five thousand more you’ve added to the cost
Since then, which only proves that there or here
You act the same: in folly, rage, and fear.
In time, you’ll go back home to where you’re from,
To fight among yourselves, the deaf and dumb.

Too bad for all the carnage that you’ve caused
Who never thought or for a minute paused
Before afflicting us with your disease:
A plague of bankrupt bullies, fascist fleas,
Who, both hands outward stretched to beg a loan,
Continue "helping" us to shrink and groan.

You talk to pat yourselves upon the back.
Your actions only scream of what you lack:
The insight and intelligence to see
How much you’ve harmed yourself as well as me.
But just the same I’ll thank you to go home
Before you earn the fate that toppled Rome.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2009