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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guestpoet: A Thrown Stone is a Drone

Huffington Post photo
The following was presented by Mark Johnson, outgoing executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, at a protest at the Hancock Air Force Drone Training and Operational Base at Syracuse in April. I post it here with his blessing:

The stone is a drone
The sling launcher taking aim
David demonstrates to Goliath
The advantage of nimbleness
The leverage of trajectory
The advantage of resistance.

But David’s triumph is a lesson,
Not a victory; his new power
Will corrupt and abuse,
Uriah sent to battle, lust’s ruse,
His psalms will be Lamentations.

The arrow is a drone
Pulled first to launch with a bow
Of bent ash and strung gut,
Then cocked into multiples of force
The cross bow and its bolt
Metal piercing jackets
Armor no more
The silent slicing of death
Slips into the innocent as smoothly
As into the shielded soldier’s
One unprotected gore.

Every thing won with war
Must be repurchased with labor
That turns swords into plow shares
That harnesses gun powder and gasoline
To the horses of production
Of health and hearth at home.

The bullet is a drone
Everything won by war is lost.

The rocket is a drone
The only thing won by war is enmity.

This truth is a drone
Everything won by war
Must be repurchased by humility.

All the psalms of all the kings
The prophecies of vengeance
Warn us again and again
There is no hiding from truth.
The fruits of the battle will be blood
But the end of the struggle will be justice
And when it comes it will not be death
It will be life and will be sung
As love finding its way
At last to the heart
Fists opened and
Raised in welcome.

The simple truth is this
We have to want the change we see
And we have to work at it every day
When the sun rises we must start running.
We are exactly where we need to be
Doing exactly what we need to do.
This is important and this is right
To be here to say no to drones
No to war. There is no way to peace
Peace is the way and that is love.

Dismantle the instruments of war
Destroy the bombs and their deliveries
Walk with the enemy, the stranger, another mile
Until he, until she, is a stranger no more,
Until we understand that we are one
At sea in the sun boat, aboard spaceship earth
Willing to give everything we have
To secure its beauty, live into its worth.

We will not be reapers of vengeance
Or we will know the wrath of that evil;
We will not be predators of innocents
Or we will be rendered without limbs or hope.

Hear our voices, feel our feet
Fill the air, shake the street,
No to drones, no to war
We are where we belong
This is our song.

Mark C. Johnson
April 28, 2013


Mark's blog can be found at this link.

Here's one of Doug Hendren's recent anti-war songs.
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