"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's War - It's Poetry


Occasionally I am overwhelmed by the immensity of the challenges to building a peaceful world and must step back for a moment (or a few days) and take a deep breath before going on. Thanks to a deep spiritual grounding along with the support of family and a strong community of peacemakers, I always get back on track fairly quickly. Today was one of those getting-back-on-track days.

I met with a couple of fellow peace activists and one of the first things Tom dropped in my lap was a powerful poem called "Obama's War", by Dennis Serdel, a Vietnam combat veteran. Dennis served one tour from 1967 to 1968 in the Americal Division, 11th Brigade, Light Infantry. Dennis is now a member of Veterans for Peace #50 and Vietnam Veterans Against The War, Perry, Michigan. His poetry has appeared often on the Internet "GI Special". Dennis was invited to read some of his poems at a meeting of Iraqi Veterans Against the War last year in New York City.
Just the other day I had started a (still unfinished) blog post titled, "Every President Has His War" resulting from my frustration over President Obama's pursuit of military escalation in Afghanistan. I was saved from my case of blogger's block with the "gift" of this poem. I'm sharing it here as I want this blog to be a vehicle for other voices (for peace) besides mine, and I want to introduce you to others who you may not otherwise discover. So here is one of Dennis Serdel's most recent poems, Obama's War.

Obama's War

The heart of darkness
goes drones
away from the killing
on a computer screen
eye teeth upon key pads
digital DEATH all capital
letters and the password
is called KILL so war
tortures the people below
like McCain dropping
the bombs on Vietnam
no observation no remorse
no for Christ sake
I killed children old men
families that are gone
with the click of a button
like a trigger no what
have I done steering
the unmanned drones
not one of us gets killed
that way no Special Opts
no Navy Seals dead just
Soldiers without fancy
names wearing caps
stateside like the
Green Berets
as a woman who has
lost all of her family
is rigged up and blows
up and kills two Army
Soldiers four policemen
are wounded she has
fought back the only way
she knows how by
sacrificing her own life
as the war switches over
to Afghanistan Pakistan
in an air war
except for the grunts.
......Dennis Serdel, 2/09

If you were touched by Dennis' poem, he has published a book of poetry by the title, "Peace Speaks From The MIRROR", that you can purchase directly from him. Books are $12 plus $4 for postage and mailer (total cost $16). Make your Money Order or Check payable (and send your order) to Dennis Serdel, 339 Oakwood Lane, Perry, Michigan, 48872. Orders paid by Money Order are sent the next day; Personal Checks after 3 days.

And while you are at it, you can read more poetry by other members of Veterans for Peace by clicking here. You can also learn what Veterans for Peace thinks of the President's Afghanistan plans by reading its February 23rd press release.


Anonymous said...

If you would like a copy of Dennis Serdel 61 poems in his recently published book "Peace Speaks from the Mirror"

Books are $12 plus $4 for postage and mailer = $16 due.
  Make Money Orders or Checks payable to:
Dennis Serdel, 339 Oakwood Lane Perry,
Michigan 48872
Money Orders sent next day, Personal Checks after 3 days.

Posted by Tom Shea

Deborah Montesano said...

I found this site by looking for Dennis Serdel, with whom I went to high school. I haven't seen him since just after he got back from Vietnam and was surprised to see that we both write, and we are both interested in in similar issues--disengaging from war, for one, and Palestine for another. I'm impressed by his poetry, here and elsewhere on the Internet.