The Poetry Kit
After reading Lynn Strongin's poems I had flashbacks to my own experience of war or at least the closest I got to one. I was in Lebanon on and off during the civil war. Even now, 17 years later, there are psysical scars. The psychological scars will be there at least till the generation that lived through the war is gone.
Lebanon, 1993 Haibun
We headed to
the mountains, leaving the frayed, bullet holed city
of old american sprung seats.
the adulterous affair
with america the beautiful
in old chevy seats
We felt a
sudden freshness, began to pass small worn villages that breathed
carefully in the aftermath of war,
village here, a christian one there.
moslem, christian, druze
After an hour we reached the village of Souk-el-Gharb, its main street battered even after several years of tenuous peace, deserted but for a couple of shuffling women in black. I had a sudden vision of them preserved in mothballs for the eternity that was the war, only recently re-aired.
two black moths
in the dead village
We parked in front of the old stone house, still intact except for the roof which had disgorged its red Marseille tiles. We didn’t need the key. Several armies had passed through. I picked my way carefully and entered.
front yard rubbled
careful steps in case of
The walls were still standing. There was the bathroom where I’d had my weekly bath, water warmed in an oversized aluminum pot, the kitchen with grey marble sink miraculously untouched, the familiar crack running through the middle.
I am a cat
with nine lives
We checked to see if anything was left but no, even the soul had gone long ago, the walls were mute.
I stood in eerie silence listening for anything. The house gave off an almost hostile feel, suddenly seemed to say, “I’ve been betrayed, ravished, go and let me be.”
a ragged village