“Shock and Awe”
 (on the First Day of Spring 2003)

Beyond all the TV screens
blazoned with fiery skies
backdrop of dinnertime television
where we search for basketball coalitions
as the troops take the Tigris
Marines move on the Euphrates

Beyond all BDAs and KIHAs
we partake of our rations
embedded within the Divisions of History
Battalions of Bombast
Regiments of Protest
Platoons of Poetry

Beyond the ancient chill of air-raid sirens
it sounds almost like some silly
post-modernist aesthetic axiom
coined by some English-major-turned-
colonel-wargames-strategist:
"Shock and Awe"

  (or maybe just some farmer's ceremonial
   wonder at the growth of his corn)

Between body-counts & basketball scores
falls the Final Four

Between March Madness & NCAA hoops
support the troops

Between jumpshots from 3-point range
runs regime-change

Between Notre Dame, Duke and UK
and all precision-guided play

   (Oh the global positioning of the heart,
    lasered flesh and satellite-soul)

Between the missile and the bomb
falls the poem

Between Tomahawk and Patriot-thud
sinks the Scud

Between the Predator and the Drone
sounds the tone

Between the Shock and the Awe
comes the call

   (To prayer in the crowded air
    of the dreamgreen night that we own)

Between the marches and the protests
footfall of Special Ops finesse

Between Notre Dame & Saddam Hussein
targets-of-opportunity & blame

Between boycotts, wine and cheese
and Jacques Chirac on his knees

Between MOABS & Daisy-Cutters
and death-drones in the gutter

   (Basketball, Shock & Awe, meat & salad:
    TV chants the Mother of all Ballads)

H.R. Stoneback