Moloch, whose Drones

          On and on and on
          Endless war—
          Bombs strewn everywhere—
          Hydrogen jukebox an old tune
          Before incoming drones, fire from the sky

          Chosen weapon of politicians
          And video-gamers far away
          Who incinerate children
          As their parents pray
          Beside remote Pashtun roads

          We don’t even make exceptions
          For Qaddafy’s grandchildren
          But the sins of the fathers
          Rain down on developing limbs
          And minds that explode mid-thought

          If we must kill
          Isn’t a knife more . . . Abrahamic?
          To not obscure the line
          Between sacrifice and murder.
          Compare The Battle of Algiers

          In which cafés explode
          As patriots make no distinction
          Between women with infants
          And despised police.
          So the world persists

          Screamed Robert Duncan
          At his beloved Denise Levertov
          In objection to her pacifist hard line

          Particular lives now melt to mass
          As any human face is lost,
          Any repugnance reduced by distance.
          What could be more barbarous
          Than aerial bombardment?

On the Wharf


          Moonlight ripples on the ocean,
          Lights outline masts . . .
          How is this night different from
          Any warm still night in any beach town?

          Fish, ships, and visitors the exchange—
          No, not ships but dorries, skiffs, other boats.
          The sea calls to sailors, sailors to lubbers.

          When is a lobster not a lobster?
          When it’s crawfish fresh from the bayou.
          Do terms matter more than taste,
          Names than remaining afloat?

          “Provincialism the enemy” wrote Pound,
          Who lived to prove it in Italia
          During the Ventennia Fascista

          While ships sailed on against the horizon
          Exciting children and hybridizing civilizations
          By arriving in ports
          For barter with exotic brokers

          With weird religious beliefs.
          So the young, dreamy, and oppressed
          Jump on a boat, some ship and sail off

          To a yonder shore, a strange kettle of fish.


Now and Then

          “…but not in Nottingham.”
          Silly sad jingle sticks in mind
          as a friend tells me
          about his infant daughter.
          I wish her childhood
          as magical to him
          as my daughter’s
          remains to me.
          “The things you do for love”,
          the compromises you make
          with Disney’s corporate product
          so your child won’t be alone
          as inevitably she will be
          dancing to a tune
          of her own invention.
          “My wife wants me to spend Sundays
          playing Daddy, but I
          don’t have time for that shit.
          I like to kick back and watch the Jets,”
          Said one buddy. Now his daughter
          grown and gone, only Jets are left
          forever young. The girl grows up
          and the boy stays lost
          in Neverneverland.
          When Wendy tries to explain
          he doesn’t understand.
          “Oh, Peter, but I’m a woman now.”

Gary Lenhart
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