A Poem by A.T.B.


Take a deep breath.
Close your eyes.
Imagine you’re at a sandy beach
in San Diego or Miami …
You can feel the heat of the sun
on your oiled skin and thinking
about how beautiful your tan
is going to look makes you smile.
The sound of crushing waves tickles
your ears; it’s a special, soothing sound
unlike any other anywhere
in the world; you can hear its crescendo
from the distance and then it ends
in a soft roar as it spreads on the sandy beach
not far from where you are lying.
Despite the heat, a soft and cooling breeze
touches your skin like
the invisible hand of a longing lover.
Every now and then, a few voices break
your silence reminding you that you are
not alone here. Up in the sky, the shrieking
of a seagull does not seem foreign at all,
and unlike the voices, does not bother you
as much. With your soft fingers
you touch the warm sand … its dry crystal grains
easily slip through your fingers and drift away
with the wind.
You take a deep breath and think
the pristine ocean water will soon
cool your body and refresh it.
You taste its saltiness on your lips. 
You know you are happy
because you are part of the sand,
and the ocean,
and the sky.
take a deep breath.
Breathe through your mouth.
Open your eyes.
Don’t succumb to the chaos.
Don’t step on a blood stain
that’s larger than your foot;
you might slip and fall.
A sniper could pick you up
through his scope.
Don't stand so tall. 
Pick an arm here,
a leg there.
A head flew somewhere
it’s unfound.
Some soccer playing kid
will kick it in. 
Bowels are the worst.
The stack of body bags is there.
Tune out the wailing
of mothers, wives and sisters.
Don’t console the crying
of the sons and daughters.
Don’t look anybody in the eyes.
Don’t try to mend broken lives.
Visceral anger will soon bubble
through the surface vexingly.
Cry! The salty tears will
tighten your stomach.
It's ok to cry,
but just with one eye.
Keep an eye open
for a possible second suicide bomber.
If you feel you’re about to puke,
go to the side,
take a deep breath,
close your eyes,
huddle in a corner of your
and imagine …
you’re at a sandy beach
in San Diego, or Miami,
and not in baghdad.

© 2008 A.T.B.

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wow, the imagery you provided was right on point. Poetry is such a big part of who I am, it's my escape from everyday trials and truama, but for you? I think the biggest escape.. Keep your mind on the Sandy Beach!! lol,, it's funny thats my name...

Posted 12 Years Ago

I agree with Kara.
I wasn't expecting this to turn into a war scene, either.
Way to really throw us off guard, in an excellent manner, of course...
I wish the war was over...

Posted 12 Years Ago

jeeeeezeeeee!! totally wasn't expecting that. i'm still a little side-swiped. you did such an Excellent job of setting up this piece, that it completely floored me when you changed the entire scene.

"Up in the sky, the shrieking
of a seagull does not seem foreign at all,
and unlike the voices, does not bother you
as much. "

That was my favorite part of the piece... because you tapped right into the mind of someone relaxing on the beach. i just can't believe the twist... you turned from this EXTREME sense of relaxation and peace, and then turned it into TOTAL carnage.

really effective my dear. so well done

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on April 12, 2008
Last Updated on April 12, 2008



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