Prose - The Numbing

In the fields
Of virtuous nobility
Reserved and summoned
For the poor and lonely
Walks a man
Shackled yet free
His hands brush the tops
Forming an image he cannot see
In the matter
Of the numbing
The dream comes undone
As the corpse does the strumming
With wispy sounds beckoning
To raise the dead
Who willfully play
And not living instead
As the great sky
Devours all sense
With a shrunken head
And hope in past tense
They draw
Upon one another
The parting waves
To gather but never recover
The disease
An apparent medal of honor
Sought by the patriots
Fooled by a cheerful demeanor
A baby of fertile mind
Swaddled in a banner
A most favored nation
Voiced in solemn manner
A burning bush
Searing the mind
Ensuring victory
Over the blind
When did it happen?
When you applauded the kill
On the whim of the one
Who controls your will
Disposable
And impotent
The born again tool
The duped patriot
For whom do you toil
In the fields that grow?
Removing from your sight
The truth you should know
Hand over heart
And on bended knee
Willful capitulation
You were never free
Assured of our cause
The death of an unknown
Deserved and justified
They lay in the field to die alone
Between a child
And providence's season
There lies the cool breeze
Of beckoning reason
The tingling sensation
Of awakening feeling
And life rising
No longer concealing
Who you are
And what you believe
And know about right
While wrong takes leave
The gathering
Of open minds
Touching in the fields
Raising the blinds
To live
With thought
Removing the cloak
With which they sought
To shroud the baby
Under God and country
Unfeeling
A victim of false idolatry

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Comments 37 comments

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California

Seems you're telling us about the insanity of war and sacrificing our children to the "gods" of war. When will we ever learn? I actually think we can learn and maybe more poem along with more acts of kindness, as naive as that might sound, can eventually have an impact bigger than we imagine.

THANKS FOR STIRRING US

Vern


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Vern - this isn't anti-God or anti-country... this is anti-brainwashing... watch for charlatans who prey on weak minds and intimidate the masses into accepting "the big lie." They say patriotism is the final refuge of the scoundrel and it is the wide-eyed and naive lamb who provides them that refuge. Thanks for commenting and following....


Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

So many are deceived into thinking they are behaving bravely and honorably. In they end, "they lay in the field to die alone."


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Wow. Powerful and well written. Thanks.

Namaste.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

'For whom do you toil' What a solid line! Well done, as always.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

"To shroud the baby

Under God and country

Unfeeling

A victim of false idolatry..."

Sad but true. This is one of your best poems. Excellent!


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

Cautionary prose pulsing with passion and purpose...And oddly, falling into the same brain-washing meme proposed...

Voted up and beautiful...Larry


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Doug - thanks for commenting... fooling people seems to be sport among many in power...

@Deborah - thank you!

@mckbirdbks - thank you! It only asks if you know who controls the strings.

@Genna - Yes it is sad at times. Thank you for reading and commenting!

@Maven - thank you for your kind remarks... but are you saying that I am in danger of brain-washing others with my point of view?


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

Isn't all brain-washing simply another's point of view...?


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Maven - I would say it depends on intent... my point is to watch for it.... I believe patriotism and religion are used by unscrupulous people to influence otherwise good people to support nefarious causes.... this is nothing novel from me. I'm just banging the drum in my own way.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Suburban, what a switch! At first, thought along Vern's lines, then when read your comment, went back and re-read your poem. Interesting, maven101, though not sure I buy that simplicity. Think I gotta go with Doug and mckbrdbks to say what I'm feeling. Thank you all for all, and mostly you, Suburban, for getting me thinking deeply again.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - thanks for commenting. I am definitely talking about war as Vern mentioned but it is the underlying potential for the death of our innocent children as they are sent abroad for dubious reasons that I speak of. I can't imagine how a parent of any soldier killed in Vietnam must feel or felt. This topic (brainwashing/free thinking) is very important to me and I've previously written about it and will continue to do so.... thank you again for commenting as you do.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

I have a poem (somewhere) I saved from the 'Nam years about sending our boys to war (I was young then w/a little boy, and the poem hit me in the heart). Keep thinking it'll pop up and I can share it. In meantime--got the rest of you to keep brain cells working, as well as my own frustration as this world goes on.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

Bang the drum slowly, my friend...Your song sings a tune that drove me to join the Marine Corps after graduating Cal in 1964...The gutless and narcissistic generation that surrounded me at that time were simply anti-government, anti-establishment adolescents that reveled in the free sex and drugs of that time...I still refuse to wear Levy's, listen to Joan Baez, or watch ABC, NBC, or CBS...

To use the progressive trope that patriotism is a false promise is to denigrate those that are placed on The Wall...Not one of those idealistic rubes that burned their draft notices, that spat on returning veterans, that carried the enemy's flag in pot-fueled marches, are worth the sacrifice these young men gave for their friends, family, and country...

Was Vietnam a flawed war..? But of course..all war is flawed because man himself is flawed...Trying to equate war with a false patriotism is the rant of undisciplined, pathetic cowards that lack any moral standing and preach from ignorance of the human condition...

Brainwashed..? Hardly...I despise cowards and blowhards that hide behind altruistic bravado...Thank God there are men and women that pick up the challenge of duty, honor, and country...A moral code unfamiliar with many in that generation...Larry


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Look Maven… you went to Vietnam. I was not confronted with the choice so I will never know what I would have done. I’m 52 now and have a 14-year old son. So maybe I’m beginning to be personally affected by what life has in store for him.

I understand the bitterness felt by the returning soldiers over their treatment. I also understand the bad feelings towards people like Jane Fonda. Completely. The images of her on those Vietcong tanks was sickening. So too the idea of a young man who gave everything, somehow survived and came home to chants of “baby killer.” One thing I can say with every ounce of conviction is that I would not have treated our soldiers this way.

The sound from my drum is not anti-soldier. It is anti-war and I will continue to show those types of feelings because I do not wish to be swept up in the fervor that I personally believe at times is misguided.

If you can believe me I say that my message is in fact pro-soldier. Because the soldiers are the ones who pay the price for the decision to go to war. They are the ones who would benefit from an idealistic message that still has a chance of taking root. It is a message to all that we as a nation understand that our government lied then and now .Not the soldiers. The politicians. It is the, “We can do better message.” It is a message that hopefully resonates in some way as your comments do about the horrible choices young men were forced to make. You went. Others did not. This is not a poem to absolve deserters or “draft-dodgers” of blame. My aim is much higher than that.

If we met I would shake your hand and say thank you for what you did. But I hope our children can avoid the life changing experience you went through.

Levy's? Jeans? Tell me about that...


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - I hope you find and post that poem... thanks...


Teylina 5 years ago

Boys, Boys! My grandsons are enough! My goodness, what have we here? The makings of another war? You are so right, Maven, in several things, just as Suburban is in others. One things I love that you said is that "all war is flawed because man himself is flawed." Doesn't that say it all? Man is flawed, hence we have twenty trillion flawed feelings and ideas. I'm from your era, Maven, and I, like Suburban, say thank you for what you did. I met the love of my life (2d husband) in late '78, and since I had known so many of you who were mistreated, misunder-stood, having returned hurt in more ways than one and angry in more ways than one, having seen the bitterness that destroyed friends/family as much as death/wounds, I was totally blown away to discover he had been --get ready--a "draft dodger." His reasoning was so off-the- wall, so different from anything I had heard, he made sense-- For HIM. A short time later, plane hijacking became an issue, and he was ready to fight and then some. That was His feelings, ideas, whatever, flawed as they might be. We are all flawed. But let's face it, as long as this world is governed by man, there will be war. That doesn't mean we have to agree with it, and it doesn't mean we cast aspersions or judgment on those who choose to fight. I'm flawed, my thinking's so flawed in so many ways I don't know how to knit it together. But I remember the fear when my son hit 14 and memories of the 'Nam years haunted me. Suburban's feeling, Maven, just like you are feeling--just different for different reasons. Along the lines of war and man ruling the world, maybe both of you (I hope) will get a kick out of my son (43, with a 23-yr-old daughter he raised alone 10 years) telling me of a discussion among truckers in the midwest when Obama was running for president. He walked into the group, didn't say anything, just listened, and then one of the guys asked, "who you votin' for?" Kevin said he replied, "I'm not voting for anybody. Only one I'd vote for isn't on the ballot," to which, of course, the guy asked, "and who's that?" Kevin replied, "God, man, God. Ain't no man gonna be able to fix this world. I rest my case, whether you believe in Yahweh or not.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - well I'm very happy that I wrote this piece. I never think that I have all the answers and in my profile I state that at times I take a deliberately narrow point of view. Maven and your husband are the ones who should talk. I am merely an observer of the past. I don't want people to be forced to endure these kind of choices and experiences. I know we can't sit here, close our eyes and make it go away (as Bono sings in "Sunday Bloody Sunday") but I still feel the need to raise the issue and hope that the Maven's of the world are not taken advantage of because he has a very powerful spirit and force within him for tremendous accomplishments in life. To have gone to Vietnam and returned to tell the story is something that is larger than life to me.

He and I have butted heads before here but I think we have a mutual respect based upon our love for the printed word.... we came through just fine and I hope this type of understanding of different points of view will carry the day.

America is a tough place to accept at times. A baby born in the US five minutes after it's "illegal alien" mom crossed the border appears to have the same rights as a man who went to Vietnam and gave his life or saw his friends die. Maybe Maven's experience gave him an insight on the rights our country provides that others such as myself do not fully understand. He was on the wall.... maybe he watched over that baby... I don't know...


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

No they shouldn't, Suburban. There would have been no "mutual respect based upon our love for the printed word..." I wasn't taking sides, nor did I mean to "get in the way"; I was simply feeling for both of you. My deceased husband lost quite a few friends (some close) to that war, incl a MIA close cousin. As he said once, he was by no means gutless or afraid: "I had to fight just as hard to stay alive down there [mexico] as I would have over there--just a different war. 'Nam had to be much more brutal, and I hated it then, and I hate it now. I hate what it did to their country and ours and everyone affected." (been a long time, but his words still resonate pretty much as quoted). I lost several friends, and the ones who came home might personally have been better off if they hadn't returned to endure the demons that followed them. Thus, my vote of 'sympathy' for maven's point of view. I'm no pacifist, but I am anti-war and always have been. That does NOT mean I have no special respect for all the 'maven's out there. I have hated listening to what some of them endured back home (whatever it turned out to be), and I cannot even try to imagine what they must have gone through. True of all war, of course, but that one went down in infamy--and wars after that will always be compared to it. No, I cannot begin to think his thoughts, feel his feelings--no way. I can yours. I should have kept my mouth shut. Along the lines of your last para answering me, have to tell both of you that when my sister became critically ill when she was a flight attendant (thyroid surgery/seizures bringing on temp mental/physical incapacitation) and lost her job, we couldn't get her any badly-needed medical help. My "always-has-a-comeback" trucker-son told me I could bring her to meet him on I-10, and he'd get her into Mexico. "We can get rid of her soc sec # and birth cert. All I have to do is bring her back over the border as illegal, and she'll get help." Sad, but that's the way it is. Glad you've a "mutual respect" on the word-gladiator floor. My husband would have shaken maven's hand (if maven would let him), said a grateful thank you, bought him a beer, and let maven vent his anger and frustration on him as long as he liked. He was like that. What did I say? 20 trillion? At least. I like reading both of you; is that 20trillion&1?


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - don't worry about "butting in" or anything like that. I post stuff and hope for comments regardless of the point of view. My view is simple: The soldiers earned honor, respect and help from the rest of us; the politicians earned our contempt.

I hope Maven understands outside whose window I bang the drum....


Teylina 5 years ago

If he didn't, he sure does now! He may download and frame that comment!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - I hope so....


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Suburban Poet- great write!

"To shroud the baby Under God and country Unfeeling A victim of false idolatry"

I was a United States Marine and I was not spat upon by any hippy. I was loved by the hippy. I was spat upon by the RIGHT WING CHRISTIANS or the PRETENDERS!

I, a United States Marine was LOCKED UP for a crime I never committed.

False patriotism is being promoted.

Vietnam was BUSINESS AS USUAL! Vietnam was NOT started after Eisenhower. These wars are hardly an "after-thought" of patriotism!

Allow me a moment- there were NO people spitting on Veterans as we came back to the states TWICE!

This "spitting" could have been a CIA promotion".

I'm not saying it never happened. I'm saying the SPIT I received from WHITE business was WORSE than saliva!

Maven says, "Your song sings a tune that drove me to join the Marine Corps after graduating Cal in 1964..."

Maybe THAT is the difference. I have NO idea if Maven has ever lead a real life but THIS MICKY DEE has certainly seen the putrid skuzz of BUSINESS and MURDER as USUAL.

Maven has walked above it all.

I love jeans, Levis or otherwise.

Joan Baez is one of the greatest patriots that has EVER LIVED!

This business of politics and business as usual has NOTHING to do with God.

And Joan Baez is PATRIOTIC TO GOD!

God bless the true patriots like Joan Baez. Maven and the likes will never know true patriotism and they will NEVER truly STAND UP! There is a SERVING OF GOD that has TRUMP over this FAKE PATRIOTISM of Maven and the likes.

Maven - NOR ANYONE ELSE should sell this FASCISM to our children.

THIS IS MURDER!

And this is evidence that fascism lives and that this patriotism is loyalty to MAMMON!

The greatest laws were NOT thought up by the United States of America that has NEVER run a courtroom with honesty in 200 years of existence. The US has NEVER run an honest courtroom.

And this Micky Dee has served his time as US patriot and I know that this patriotism is AGAINST the will of God and the teachings of God.

But the political liars will always use this false patriotism and God HIMSELF to lure the poor into laying down their lives for the "business as usual".

But these greatest patriots continue to lay down their lives. These patriots make up the largest percentage of homeless in this LAND OF THE MOST IMPRISONED ON EARTH.

These wars are business deals in the making or business deals gone bad.

This planet does not belong to the FEW!

And it is NOT for Maven to judge the God patriot Joan Baez!

This "Maven" has nothing to do with patriotism but to puff up his own gutless fascist butt.

God's greatest law is to love your neighbor as yourself. But "his" beliefs do not include God - and neither does any warring party.

And how can we love the true God that we have not seen if we do not love our neighbor who we have seen.

No- Maven's words are tired and demand more sacrifices for Mammon. It's time to sacrifice Mammon!

Leave the best patriots for God and country alone.

I ask for all the Mavens to challenge me in a REAL COURT of LAW. Not one where money is involved to attain a cozier verdict.

No- Maven doesn't have a damn clue about the real America. He's never BEEN IN IT! He's lived a lie and yes - I challenge these lies in a true court. But that may have to wait until we see the TRUE JUDGE- and that is the true God. And there will be a reckoning! It is impossible to sow seeds of fascism and war and NOT reap what is sowed.

Patriotism indeed. He knows NOTHING OF PATRIOTISM because he knows NOTHING OF GOD.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Mickey - All I can say is Yes Sir! Look... first I am blessed to have something I wrote prompt these kind of comments. You and Maven experienced something that I did not (War) and as such I do not feel I have the right to question another man's personal view because I prefer to have true insight. At the same time I felt he was too harsh. I can understand the bitterness a man might feel who went while others did not. But I wanted to ask him what he thought of George Bush or Cheney (the "chickenhawks"). I wonder if he supports them?

I am anti-war but I understand the need for a strong defense. I truly believe that patriotism is being used to influence us for Mammon as you say and I won't apologize for believing that and I don't believe it has any bearing on my love for the US.

I feel it took guts to go to Vietnam and it took guts to not go. There is no question that to avoid the draft and choose a life on the run is not something anybody would do lightly. It was a confusing time...

As for Joan Baez and the like I respect their willingness to speak out against the war. Why should we bang the drum for death and destruction? Somebody has to present an alternative point of view and that is what America is about.... I guess America is also about hating people for what they say... but you should be allow to say it and back it up...

Thanks man and your post was awesome and I wonder if you should make a hub and go straight into all of this as you have the experience that gives you not only the right but the crediblity to speak out.... I'm just someone who read the newspaper and watched Walter Cronkite give casualty reports....


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Mickey! My man, we're not always on the same wavelengths, but I do like the fact you brought out that "this business of mixing business with politics and religion has nothing to do with God"--Words to that effect. Problem is that too many religious factions have made it their business; hence, you have a trilogy of commerce, politics and religion (Catholicism was heavily involved w/Hitler if I remember correctly). Anyway, I say, yes, sir, this take was a good one (I remember Cronkite's casualty reports and Baez and everything else all too well--we all dread those reports.) You've got a good idea to get Suburban moving on a Whole New Project--but he's already so good at the one he's in!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - Oh no? Did you just assign me some homework? This stuff causes hard feelings and as I mentioned in my profile, I left a political chat room that I frequented for years because it became too intense. I'm here for good times and deep thought but occasionally I step on some toes. I'm glad for Micky. I hope Maven is ok too... thank you for your insights...


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

I'm playing with you, SP. If you will get past the supposed "assignment" you will find after my too-often-used dashes: "but he's already so good at the one he's in!" Grammatically incorrect, I guess, but "project" always seem to drown one! I just love the way you write--stick to it! We really didn't need to go down that road, but we (obviously older than you) all "remember when," and somehow it sucks worse than wars since. (saw my typo: shoulda been 'dreaded'--thank goodness it's past). Those announcements were different.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - I knew you were but maybe there is something that I can write on this.... to expand on it because it's obviously a very deep subject... anyway I appreciate all your support and kind words. I'm sure this won't be the last you hear from me. Rather than being redundant I keep trying to see if I can "get it right" so I keep at it....


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Ya already got it right, podner! Just keep at it!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Whatever I'm doing is what I do so that's what I'll do as long as I'm able to do it....


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Ha, ha! Well put! I'm outta here for a while so I don't distract you. Gotta post to your others.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - sorry for the delay in response... thanks again!


pmccray profile image

pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

Every word written is so filled with truth unfortuately. We a adrift in a sea of indifference, no better than sheep being lead by parasitic shepards . . in God We Trust.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@mpccray - Yeah most people don't want to think about the control that is exerted on us from the money-changers. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to write about it. I can't change anything; it doesn't help me at work; it doesn't help my children get good grades in school... but I guess I'm compelled to write and this is the subject matter that interests me. Thank you for commenting.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Cathartic, and ridding oneself of a bit of frustration. "Compelled" is often the word for why one writes what one does--it's a cleansing by sharing, whether others agree or not. Some just rant. Others, like you, my friend, write well and sincerely for all to sift through. Don't question; just do.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Teylina - Cathartic is the word for it and yes I am also compelled... I stopped questioning myself on why I do it... it doesn't matter because I love it...


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

That's our man!

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