Thursday, February 24, 2005

Fear and Joy

This will be my last post from Kalsu, and probably my last post from Iraq. I leave you with this tribute to the cycle of feeling and emotion I’ve experienced in my time here.

on my first day here I met some mortars nice and close
you might say we had lunch together
and they introduced me to Fear

Fear lay with me on the floor amid the noise and confusion
Fear sat with me in the bunker with shaking hands
Fear saw with me the other faces - some scared, some bored
Fear slowly left me as the hours passed into days weeks


now life in Iraq is a parade of Mondays
unbroken by weekends or holidays

I dwell on the past that is gone
and pine for the future that is yet to come
living in the present moment is elusive
but that is where I seek Joy

Joy sits with me in meditation
Joy inspires a ministry of words
Joy hides in the beauty of moon, stars, and sun

just waiting to be noticed

it’s the mortars again

they’ve come when I’m asleep
struggling out of a dream world of somewhere else
into the real world of my flak vest and helmet

curled in a fetal ball on the floor
I hear a single drop of steel rain
explosively born, it flies without wings

Fear comes again

when the mortars are gone
Fear leaves with them
time starts again as if they had never come

wide awake, I step outside and enjoy the afternoon
the sky is blue, the birds sing, and the sun is shining

on the piece of shrapnel half buried in the roof of my tent


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