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Dulce Et Decorum Est

By Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


I live in an asylum
where conscience is forbidden
our fat keepers
are ourselves
so they treat us well
at feeding time
our troughs are full
we lack nothing essential
and if we never complain
and make our own beds
and march in formation
to perform assigned chores
our keepers allow us
to murder our children.

By Ed Stone (1918-1977)

Modern war poetry:

British soldiers explore Afghanistan and Iraq wars in verse


A new generation of war poets is providing powerful insight into ongoing conflicts by putting their vivid impressions into words. Sean Rayment and Michael Howie report.

17 April 2011 - For centuries, soldiers have used poetry to describe the horrors of war. The celebrated First World War poets – Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke – memorably used cathartic verse to illustrate the futility of a conflict that saw a generation of young men perish.

Yet war poetry offers much to the reader, too.

U.S. Military Diplomacy – From Wounded Knee to Afghanistan

By Larry Kerschner

1890 Wounded Knee, South Dakota
Lakota massacred by U.S. Army

A blue-coated motorcycle gang
armed with rifles and pistols
rolled into this peaceful
residential neighborhood at dawn today.
Chankpe Opi Wakpala community members
were herded
together and shot down.
Unarmed men, women and children were
pulled from their homes.
Commenting on reports that
those trying to flee were run down and
shot in the back,
one biker is quoted as saying
It was great sport
like shooting fish in a barrel.

Reports of the number killed
range from 150 to 370.

1890 Buenos Aires, Argentina- U.S. troops
intervene to protect U.S. business interests
1891 U.S. troops battle with nationalists in Chile

walking backward
my hidden face
does not go before me
I cannot see
the dogs of war
I hear
blood and tears
dripping down
I hear
children become gravediggers

Christians at War, by John F. Kendrick, 1916

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain;
Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain,
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill,
Steal the farmers' savings, take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve, the Saviour's bums must eat,
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

The American Dream

By Rick Burnley

The American Dream is Mother Earth's nightmare
Because the dream is always for more
And to make it come true, what we're willing to do
Leaves her body bloodied and sore

The American Dream can't be sustained
Because we want much more than we need
And we're sacrificing many forms of life
And the reason is just for greed

More is the God that we pray to
And our actions speak quite loud
Like a belly with jaws that keeps stuffing its maw
We're creating a toxic cloud

Mother Nature lies at rest
Feeding all the forms of life
But now she is under the onslaught
Of the two-legged virus's knife

Chop it down, burn it down, then poison the rest
This is what we're good at, what we do best
Now frogs and bees are disappearing
Quickly and world-wide
We've got to quit poisoning our air and our water
Before all life's species have died

Einstein said when the bees are gone
Mankind has just three more years
And if we don't stop trashing our planet

The Gaza Gulag

By Rick Burnley

You don't have to wait until you die
if you'd like to check out Hell;
Just head on over to the Gaza Gulag
and hang around for a spell-

It was much worse last December
War planes rained death from the sky
Shredding women and babies into bloody pieces
The whole world wanted to know why

Thousand pound bombs fell on the Gaza strip
All throughout the night
Terrified mothers clutched their trembling children
Who were huddled together in fright

The apartment buildings shuddered
With the impact of the shocks
As the Empire's guided missiles
Leveled many whole city blocks

White phosphorous floated down from the sky
Causing everything to glow
The flakes burned right through whoever they landed on
A murderous ,deadly snow

Once phosphorous lands on a person's skin,
There's no way to put out the fire
Toddlers incinerated by the Empire's missiles
Their nurseries their funeral pyre

Israel used a brand new weapon

New Play: Alternative Methods

"Alternative Methods," a new play, explores the involvement of psychologists in torture. An Iraqi doctor, suspected of treating an Al-Qaeda leader, is detained and interrogated. US forces want to know where the injured leader's safe house is. Susan, a psychologist working on an interrogation team, gains the doctor's trust and bonds with the man she is supposed to help break. Will she continue to assist in the doctor's torture or risk her life to make it stop?

Please check out the website for more information:

The play was one of 200 (out of 800) accepted into the New York International Fringe Festival, where it will go in August. The actors are top-notch New York equity actors. The cast includes Hend Ayoub, a Palestinian actress known for her roles in the award-winning films Death of a President and Private.

Alternative Methods
Sunday July 11 @ 4:15 PM
Friday July 16 @ 8:15 PM
Thursday July 22 @ 6:30 PM

War: What Is It Good For?

Absolutely nothing, according to latest work by San Anselmo filmmaker by Ronnie Cohen, Pacific Sun

Born in 1914, the first year of World War I, poet William Stafford grew up hearing war horror stories along with the biblical commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." When the U.S. government drafted him into World War II, he felt he could not go and instead became a conscientious objector, one of 12,000 who lived in civilian public-service camps throughout the country.

"I belong to a small, fanatical sect," Stafford wrote in his journal. "We believe that current ways of carrying out world affairs are malignant."

Do People Die in War So That Professors Can Read Poetry About It?

By David Swanson

The latest hardcopy newsletter from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities opens with an article about poetry about war, which opens with this line: "Many of my favorite poets are soldiers." The author begins with a poet who "has served in the current war in Iraq." Served what we are not told. Then she jumps to Virgil and declares:

"Neither Virgil nor Turner gives us answers to war: they know the questions are more important, and likely answerable only by each of us alone."

So we should each enlist right away in order to answer "the questions"? Or we should all read lots of ambiguous war poetry? Who knows, because this follows:

"What is my responsibility as the gears of human perfidy and greatness grind together?"

Another question that is more important than the answer, no doubt. And yet, what could be more important or - by now - more obvious than the answer?

Dying-In to End the Wars

Dying-In to End the Wars | June 29, 2010
By Dan Pearson

On February 22, 2010, Chris Gaunt began conducting a weekly sit-in at the local offices of her US Senators, Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, in Des Moines, Iowa, urging them to refuse any further funding for war. A number of other local peace activists joined Chris in conjunction with The Peaceable Assembly Campaign. As part of the sit-ins which took place during office hours, Chris made a point of connecting with the office staff, person-to-person, while she endeavored to educate them on the dire urgency of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite these efforts, it was clear that the Senators themselves were not willing to seriously consider voting against war funding or even listen to the rationale that Chris and others were offering. Chris recognized that, to be taken seriously, more had to be done.

On March 11, 2010, Chris changed the weekly peaceful sit-in to a peaceful die-in. She lay down on the floor as if she were dead, with a note explaining that she would remain there until she could get a straight answer from the senator about cutting off funds for the wars. The office staff called on the police to physically remove and arrest her. She and others have returned to conduct die-ins nearly every week, a total of eleven times, since. Speaking of the results, Chris describes the opportunities she has had to interact with a variety of people, including Senate staffers at all levels, both in Iowa & DC, Federal Building Security Officers, Police Officers, Prosecutors, and now Judges.

Below is a poem Chris wrote about her experience as well as an excerpt from a letter to Senators Grassley and Harkin and their staffs.

Dan Pearson is a Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.


Dying to End the Wars
By Chris Gaunt

Dying-In, I should say.
Dying in the Federal Building in Des Moines, Iowa, 7th floor.
Dying in the offices of Senators Grassley & Harkin.
Dying to stay until my Senator starts voting NO on continuing to fund these wars.

Staying dead past 5 pm closing time? … YES.

Return to die again the next Wednesday.
Get to know the office staff before you die.
Let them get to know who you are and what you want.

Come in a spirit of resistance.
Nonviolent resistance.
Arm yourself only with LOVE.

Care to join me?
Dare to raise your voice by using your body.
Speak loudly in the dead silence.

Come, die-in with me to end these damn wars.
Pick your day.
Choose your own way to simply say:



From a June 17, 2010 letter to Senators Grassley and Harkin and to staffers Nick Podsiadly, Kurt Kovarik, Tom Buttry, Rosemary Guiterrez, Aaron McKay, Derek Miller and Rob Barron:

The message I have been bringing to your Iowa offices since last February is:


Eyewitness to the Israeli Assault on the Mavi Marmara

By Dave Lindorff

Kevin Neish of Victoria, British Columbia, didn’t know he was a celebrity until he was about to board a flight from Istanbul to Ottawa.  “This Arab woman wearing a beautiful outfit suddenly ran up to me crying, ‘It’s you! From Arab TV! You’re famous!’” he recalls with a laugh. “I didn’t know what she was talking about, but she told me, ‘I saw you flipping through the Israeli commando’s book! It’s being aired over and over!’”

A soft-spoken teacher and former civilian engineer with the Canadian Department of Defense, Neish realized then that a video taken by an Arab TV cameraman in the midst of the Israeli assault on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza of him flipping through a booklet had been transmitted before the Israelis blocked all electronic signals from the flotilla. The booklet had pictures and profiles of all the passengers, and he'd found it in the backpack of an Israeli Defense Force commando.

Prophecies Are For Violating

By David Swanson

I wrote a review of Karen Malpede's new play "Prophecy" when I had only read but not yet seen it. Karen read the review and invited me to lead the first in a series of talk-back discussions following performances in New York, and I did so on Wednesday. For that incredible privilege I'm glad I wrote that early review, but I'm sorry it was so insufficient as an attempt to convey the intensity of the phenomenon that is "Prophecy."

America, The Imperial

By Sherwood Ross

I write to you in my last hour

In the last hour of the night

The hour of fear before the light

The hour of persecution and execution

Of the headsman’s bloody institution

Of prisoners dragged from their cells

Hearts pounding, legs trembling

Piss-soaked with fright.

I write to you from the land of discredited dreams

Of delicate white petals spilled upon the floor

Like semen wasted in the fingers of a whore

Of American dreams twisted into nightmares

Of a president’s lying schemes

For which Christ has no parable, no metaphor.

I write to you when poets are beaten in the streets

When students are shot dead for protesting war

When men earn their bread making killing machines

And never question what their work is for.

I will show you the land of the dying cities

Where the many see little hope to get ahead

Lowkey - Obama Nation (Official Video)


THIS TRACK is not an attack upon the American people
It is an attack upon the system within which they live
Since 1945 the United States has attempted to
Overthrow more than 50 foreign governments
In the process the us has caused the end of life
For several million people, and condemned many millions
More to a live of agony and despair

And the War Goes On...

And the War goes on...
By Eden Holend Roemer | Puppetgov

And the War goes on…

In dregs and druthers

Band of brothers and sisters

Foot soldiers

Are the chosen few

To go and do

What we dread to tread

And still they have to do….

This thing this aweful terrible….

They wing it

Un-responsive detachment unbearable

Cause that’s what they are ordered to do

To do this thing

And the beat throbs and sings

Calls the fist to jawline stings…

1-2 punch in endless fling

with pain... Read more.

My Book Is Now Available from Publisher Before Stores Get It

"Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union," by David Swanson is due in stores September 1st, but the publisher has it now and you can get it straight from Seven Stories Press.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day
By Gary Corseri

I am sick of the voices of heroes!
They cry from maniacal graves:

“Why do you hurry and turn away—
You who are warmed by the sun?

“Once a year, on a ‘solemn occasion,’
You come for public mourning.
Officers offer orisons.
Politicians ply for votes.

Torture: Crime Versus Punishment

Torture: Crime versus Punishment
By George Giacoppe | Splinters

We have our ways
On the ship of State
To win your praise
While pushing fate
For the detainee
That is so unlucky
To be positioned
For Inquisition
And then to drown
While we clown

I can no longer remain silent on the false debate on torture.

May 2: A Saturday in Spring

May 2: A Saturday in Spring
By Richard C. Cook |

Today, amidst the flowers of springtime, all I really want is to be able to listen to the Silence.

Silence is the place from which every created thing originates.

Silence is the source of “the peace that passeth all understanding.”

Silence is the space between thoughts.

Being in Silence is the greatest of all freedoms.

Life and death are the coming out of Silence and the returning into it.

Big Money

Listen to Big Money (v2).



listen up my friends it's time we paid attention

an age old specter knocks upon our door

phantom financiers hell bent on domination

they are closer than they've ever been before

it's Big Money's plan to own us for their pleasure

it's Big Money's plague that blackens all our dreams

where Big Money meets lies hidden from all measure

what Big Money says is never what they mean

John Mellancamp: "Troubled Land" 2008

Hurricane on the horizon
Judgment getting closer all the time
I can't find tomorrow
Bring peace to this troubled land...

The eyes of heaven are upon you
But so is the soul from down below
They'll cut off your fingers
To bring peace to this troubled land

Well you can stand up and holler
You can lay down and die
Bring peace to this troubled land

Speaking Events



March 24, Boone, NC.


March 25, Asheville, NC
Battery Park Apartments, 1 Battle Square, rooftop room, noon - 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.


April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.


April 14, Bellingham, WA, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.
Sign up on FB.


April 15, Seattle, WA
Town Hall Seattle
1119 Eighth Ave (8th and Seneca) 
Seattle, WA 98101
Sign up on FB.


April 16 Portland, OR


April 24, Oneonta, NY at Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
5:30 discussion with students.
7:00 talk and Q&A with everyone.
Sign up on FB.


May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.

May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event


June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.


June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.


Other Events Here.


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