Friday, October 26, 2007

Five political poems by Andrew David King

Five poems
by Andrew David King

five years later

The world is so messed up
these days,
you say. Everyone has to live
all stressed-out
worrying about their car, it might
eventually be scratched.
Worrying about their portfolio
it might have taken a hit today
you know, with that war thing going on.
Worrying about their new clothes,
they might go out of style.
Worrying if they'll be able to make it
to the party in time.
What a shame, what a shame.
How about
the people dying
blown away
like worthless specks of dust
in the eye of an
unforgiving god?
The families torn apart
into a thousand pieces
like the knowledge you unwittingly discard?
The nations falling, part of a master plan
that looked so good to you on paper?
All this
must end.
Why must others pay the price
for our way of life,
for our lives?
I ask of you,
but comes no reply.


the siren sounds eternal

dust settles over the battleground
where the nonexistent enemy was almost defeated
the remaining smoke slowly poisons the air
a paradoxical struggle of identical intentions
destroying many, but satisfying a few
throwing the last pile of dirt
over the grave of free thought
maybe sometime, somewhere off in the blood-red distance
it would matter
but then again, we don't have to live in fear
in constant apprehension of what lies next to us on the bus
beneath us on the sidewalk
or buried in the roads
as our familiar paths
become matters of life and death
as down the street
halfway around the world
inside a black bag, the clock wired to five pounds of insanity
sends a million shards of hate in a thousand directions
and is this the way that it ends for all of them
so sad, so sad
this time, there will be no funeral
they will be buried somewhere quickly, three minutes to remember a
lifetime ever forgotten, lost in the chaos
what use is a nameless headstone
to a nameless soul
it's not like it matters
we're doing just fine up here on top
top of the world
close to the scorching sun that burns your dreams alive
fresh air to breath while you all suffocate from our selfishness
but we're doing just fine, doing just fine
as the possibility of peace runs through our fingers
like the cold cash that satisfies our cold hearts
that graces the palms
ever so naturally
the instinct of humanity's treason
our fuel to the fire
losing our innocence but not our image
we'd find it again, but I doubt it
we've searched, but we've found something else
just as good


laid to rest

In Memoriam of the fallen members of the U.S. Armed Forces

"Well," he said
"ever since it happened,
[between the time one has lost what one loves most
and a new beginning]
it has been so surreal."
[I pretend to understand
but can't really]
"I can't bring myself…" he pauses
"to have the headstone engraved,
[the last reassurance of the disappearance
of what used to be the world]
"I know I should. I visit every week. But I cannot.
It's too much. I'm sorry, but it's just way too much for me."
[Its way too much for all of us, I want to say
but I know I have never gone through this]
"In know he's gone. He's dead.
But the stone is so final."
[it's too hard and painful to close the wound
sometimes its easier to leave it open]
"He took it for the team,
[halfway around the world
blood is still thicker than water]
took that bullet for his friends. He lived and died for those guys."
"The day they showed up at our house, in their perfect uniforms
[procession of regret
the truth no one wants to know]
I knew what they were here to say. I knew it."
[suddenly everything changes
hope becomes despair]
"It seems sad when it's someone else's kid
but when it's finally yours, it's so much more…
[isolated into this harsh reality
forced to face a world ignorant of sacrifice]
…it's real. You never prepared for it. You never thought it would happen.
[No one ever thought
but in the back of their minds, they knew]
And suddenly his life, his death, becomes a statistic."
[and now it's over, and time to realize
desperate prayers can't raise the dead]
"Black pants, black shirts, for the rest of my life," he says
[It seems now that maybe the sun has set on
these stars and stripes]
"That's the way
it's going to be."



it would be dark
here in the middle of the night
billowy clouds waving
crystal stars in a crystal sky
the way it should be over this desert
if all of the clouds hadn't now become smoke
lighting up with the flames
greedily igniting
the sacred past of all those who dwell here meekly
turning the land where silence reigned momentarily
into a convenient graveyard
and the people
furious with the roll of the dice that fate has dealt them
cling to what little hope they have left
like they cling to each other when the bombs come

sand storms are far more welcome here than
these hundred pound killers made of gunpowder and malice
lurking beneath our streets
monsters waiting to be unleashed

every day a choice must be made
either die of starvation at home because you
will not leave your house
or become a victim of the underground monsters
whose echoing roars still scorch the distance
as another suicide waits to feel
the kiss of a savior on his lips at the gates of paradise
they know they're going to heaven
because this place
must be hell
and now the radicals are here searching through the rubble
through their stockpiles for another weapon
for another tool of which to proclaim god's greatness
don't they know
the strongest and most piercing weapon of all
is the cry of the poor man rummaging through the waste
that was once his humble house
finding pieces of his life before hatred destroyed it
and shattered everything within its path
at last finding himself
in utter misery and solitude
as the bringers of death parade through the streets
in a show of hollow victory saying:

all glory be to god
god is great
there is no god but god
allahu akbar

and momentarily stopping from collecting the fragments of his life
strewn everywhere
the poor man looks up through watery eyes, trembling
he screams out to them
in his fury

why did you do this
why did you have to do this

receiving no answer except for indecipherable shouts
and so turning to the heavens
of smoke and sulfur
asking his god:

why did they take them
why did you
let them take him
let them take her from me

and the pretend victors, untrue bringers of justice stand there on the streets
wanting to take more lives for their cause
and watch the fire consume the ruins
as their celebrations continue
proclaiming success and a divine mandate
and the battle that must be waged against infidels, the inferiors
the war that must be fought until the gates of heaven are opened
as if the crying man
covered in the blood of his family
holding his dead son
in his broken arms
was still the enemy


Click on poem to make it larger!

Author bio:

Andrew David King was born in Fremont, California on June 11, 1992. He has enjoyed writing since middle school and has written poetry, fiction, and non-fiction pieces. When he's not putting the pen to paper, he enjoys playing guitar and piano, jamming with his band, swimming, doing collage, ranting about the irrational teachers at his school, discussing politics, composing music, searching for the Holy Grail, and observing the world around him with a critical eye. Recently, he was invited to be featured in the Other Voices International Poetry Project, where his work is displayed alongside such authors as Ursula K. Le Guin, Luis J. Rodriguez, and Jimmy Santiago Baca. He has been a winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Art and Essay Contest for the city of Hayward, California, and his visual art has been on display at the Oakland Museum of California. He is currently a sophomore at Moreau Catholic High School, where he attends on scholarship.Andrew is also editor of Wings of Icarus Art/Literary Journal, at Links to his work can be found at:

Editor's note: "mosul" was previously published in Roger Humes' Other Voices International Poetry Project.

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