“[I]n times of crisis it’s interesting that people don’t turn to the novel or say, ‘We should all go out to a movie,’ or ‘Ballet would help us.’ It’s always poetry. What we want to hear is a human voice speaking directly in our ear.”

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003) speaking to the New York Times, as quoted in The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson

this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters

we honor courage in all its forms – today in praise of PsiFighter37’s important diary

cross-posted at DailyKos, Booman Tribune, European Tribune,  My Left Wing, and TexasKos.

image and poem below the fold

EDS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT ** Iraqi medics inspect bodies of journalists, found near Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, in the provincial capital of Tikrit, in this Feb. 23, 2006 file photo. The international media group, Reporters Without Borders, says at least 93 journalists and media workers have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 and 42 kidnapped.
(AP Photo/Bassim Daham, File)

Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump
by David Bottoms

Loaded on beer and whiskey, we ride
to the dump in carloads
to turn our headlights across the wasted field,
freeze the startled eyes of rats against mounds of rubbish.

Shot in the head, they jump only once, lie still
like dead beer cans.
Shot in the gut or rump, they writhe and try to burrow
into garbage, hide in old truck tires,
rusty oil drums, cardboard boxes scattered across the mounds,
or else drag themselves on forelegs across our beams of light
toward the darkness at the edge of the dump.

It’s the light they believe kills.
We drink and load again, let them crawl
for all they’re worth into the darkness we’re headed for.
– – –
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