this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters
image and poem below the fold
Um Adel (R) and her husband Abed Hammed Abbas look at a picture of their 31-year-old mentally ill son Adel Abed Hammed in their home in Baghdad October 20, 2005. Mentally ill since childhood Adel Abed Hammed used to wander the streets of Baghdad alone until some American soldiers shot him dead after he panicked in response to a shot fired over his head.
by Seamus Heaney
Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.
support veterans for peace
support the Iraqi people
support the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
support the victims of torture
remember the fallen
support Gold Star Families for Peace
support the fallen
support the troops
support the troops and the Iraqi people
read This is what John Kerry did today, the diary by lawnorder that prompted this series
read Riverbend’s Bagdhad Burning
read Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches
read Today in Iraq
witness every day