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The Daily Poetry Movement

This is a great site. I know that I have featured this site before but it rules! I am getting ready to go to the art museum and the sun is shining, my cat is snoring, the birds are singing, I got my comfy pants on, and people are dying from "occupupation" how dare you call it war? The embedded reported asked me. Why do you keep saying Vietnam was an occupation? I ask.
Richard Weekley
58 years old

Richard Weekley was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 1945. Cofounder/coeditor of Volume Number Magazine from 1983-2000, he won the Teacher of the Year Award for his work in the William S. Hart Union High School District in Los Angeles County in 1999. His poetry has been published by The Literary Review, The MacGuffin, The Midwest Quarterly, Poetry LA, Queen's Quarterly, etc. He is listed in A Directory of American Poets and Writers compiled by Poets & Writers, Inc., and the winner of various prizes including first place in Black Bear Publication's International Chapbook Competition.


The Perfect Blind Spot

The Perfect Blind Spot
--General Tommy Franks

Hashim Kamel Radi we do not count you.
But you are gone forever. You were 22 and
on a bus, perhaps thinking of a book to read.

Jalal al Yussuf you were just 17
and perhaps were wondering
what to eat for lunch.

Ibrahim al Yussuf you were only 12.
Perhaps you watched your big brother die
before you eyes that day in Zambrania.

We don't count you either.

Out of sight out of mind,
just like the coffins arriving daily at Dover
no one sees.

There's Invisibility all around us.
Can you FEEL it?

Can you sense Ahmed al Rahal's last grimace
or hear Sufian -- the Jordanian student's scream?

We can calculate every millimeter to Mars
and land a rover
but we can't count you.

For you are an uncountable.

America sends in great teams and spares no expense
to rescue one lingering soul from an 8.1 temblor

but maybe you heard

we can't count you.

--the mind's made up

head in sand

the perfect blind spot

we can't count you

because: seeing is BELIEVING
--we must keep citizens from seeing
to stop believing-


USA - land of liberty and justice for all
unless you're
Fateha Ghazzi or Nada Abdallah, 8 and 16 on March 24th 2003
you're not counted
and nearly nobody knows your name

You died by orders from the top
so it's okay

and your death won't upset a single U.S. household or lose a single vote

and you know
we had to be preemptive:
it was us or them

Your leader was mad
and ready to wipe us out on a moment's notice.
Didn't you hear?
so I hope you understand

we don't mean to say one thing but do the other
and we're sorry if liberation feels like occupation

after all we know we're right or
it wouldn't be called:
Operation Enduring Freedom

Please Faris and Saif, 11 year old twins,
please consider yourself
freedom's casualties

we're not naming names or keeping real score
and please remember it's best this way

with no b-o-d-y counting.

--Richard Weekley
Santa Clarita, CA


"Lt. Col. Jim Cassella, a Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday that the U.S, Military did not count civilian causalities. 'Our efforts focus on destroying the enemy's capabilities, so we never target civilians and have NO REASON to try to count such unintended deaths,' he said." [AP, Niko Price, The Signal, June 11, 2003]


Remember this? "On March 28 a missile landed on a sidewalk in a crowded market place in the Baghdad district of al Shoala. Iraqi officials said 58 civilians were killed by a U.S. air strike. Central Command said at the time that it was investigating, but spokesman Capt. Captain John Morgan now says NO INQUIRY WAS CONDUCTED... the great majority of deaths appear to have been caused by U.S. and British attacks."


On June 11, 2003, the estimated Iraqi Civilian death toll was 3,240.
On February 9, 2004, the estimated Iraqi Civilian death toll was 10,079.


see: www.iraqbodycount.net