The Unwaged War

Alone I fought the unwaged war

before it sustained sects and violence.

I ate it cold at every sitting,

swelling the figures but not my own,

applied for leeches from the state,

only to learn–what learning’s for—

that donors can’t get back their blood.

I slept in houses let to the wind,

my stomach cramped with lack,

a bleached chamaeleon, a landed whale,

an enemy of the stateless, homeless kind.

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Comments

  • Edith  On August 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Words can be such a powerful tool. Inspiring visions, provoking thoughts, begging questions.

    Not a story . . . is this a cry . . . or a scream ?
    Plea or rage? A shout of blame . . . or a call for rescue or redemption or release.

    Words . . . yours make me wonder, unsettled and scared and worried . . . and yet relieved somehow, that you can get them out . . . because they are more than just words in the ether aren’t they ???

    • fridayam  On August 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Dear Edith,

      what a lovely, and very deep, comment on my poem–and you said you couldn’t read them?

      There is a history to this poem–it is a fairly old poem, dating back to the early 80’s. I used to get amused/annoyed by things being advertised as such a price for waged and such and such for the unwaged–it was an early example of politically correct language: people weren’t unemployed, they were “unwaged”. I was in a job, but remembered being unemployed and living on benefits. The rage in the poem was against those who demeaned the unemployed by renaming them.

      Now, being unemployed again, the poem has a sharper meaning and the words can kick in again–they are never just lost in the ether, or at least I hope.

      S xx

  • Antoniatable  On June 4, 2011 at 2:28 am

    I really am at a loss for words about this one except that whatever caused this poem is past like some images a lot ! Antonia Baranov

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