A Poem by JR

Let us chisel the names of the dead

into this blank black wall;

Let them burn for miles

graves filled with the fruit of ideology


Let us build them effigies


and hymns

Let the smoke of their futility


as coiled serpents


Let us scrawl the names of the liars

upon this blank white wall

with red marker

so their crimes will be clear


Let us throw them down



and exile them


the rich, the privileged

who determine doctrine

who dictate faith


Who send forth armies

from behind the mahogany expanse

of their sublime wealth


Let us carve the names of the forgotten

in the ice of their frozen tears

empty arms in the airport

soon to filled with folded flag


Let grieve for them their passage

Let us hold their heads

and pray:


Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine;

et lux perpétua lúceat eis

Requiéscan in pace


Which means



© 2008 JR

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I think this is well-written and speaks to the tragedy
in progress - as numbers pile up (fatalities of pawns)
while the bishops sit safely in their little square,
but we both know - human lives are far from pawns
and this is a sick game.

Because I remember you as one to avoid
insignificant words
I found this poem to be peppered
with "the" and most often, I found
by removing it - the meaning was not
diminished and the rhythm more staccatto -
pointed - gunlike.


Let us chisel names of dead
Let us scrawl names of liars

In fact, there are a couple of times
the word "their" could be chopped out, too.

Also, a word is missing in this line
Let (us) grieve their passage

But...those tiny things are just that

This poem is powerful and angry
deserves to be read as if spat
in the face of those responsible
for the deaths - those who think
a folded flag in the hand of a widow
shows respect.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Well spoken. Good to read honest anger and frustration without tuning into stereotyped "f**k the man". Call them out by name (in red).

Posted 10 Years Ago

My review, at long last! But i have internet, it's late at night, and I have excess energy to burn =P So what should i do other than catch up on some promised reading ~smiles~

I am surprised JR, you broke your own rule in this poem. Granted, why are rules there unless they are meant to be broken. Which one was it might you ask? Well, sometimes less is more. I almost felt as if you were getting tangled in filler words in this poem. Chop it down, as you have told me so often. And I think this is what this poem needs. Simplicity and raw images, to tear the reader's mind apart at the seams.

Let us carve the names of the forgotten
in the ice of their frozen tears
empty arms in the airport
soon to filled with folded flag

The images are f*****g amazing, but I think you should try playing with the wording more. Maybe put the "Let us" have its own line. The I would work on cropping down on the words that really don't need to be there, or fool around with them so you are left with less words and more emphasis. Also take a look at the structure and play around with that, if you don't want to play with the wording. There is so much being said in this poem, and it should be jumping off the page and clawing the reader's eyes out.

After I came back here a few months ago, and i was reading people's poetry here, I came to a realization. Write about cliche and conventional things, but do not write about them in conventional ways. 90% of people's poetry has the same style imagery, very few break the bounds. And with pieces like this, I think it is important to break convention. Break the rules, and write something brilliant. Do you feel that your imagery here is part of the 90%, or the 10%? You are an awesome writer. And to maintain that, i think it important to rip apart every word of every piece that you write and know why everything is placed where you have placed it.

It's good to read your writing again... makes me miss the old days of lurking the recesses of WC. But in reading it, I also realize how much we've both changed. The mysterious workings of time at its very best.


Posted 10 Years Ago

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Woah. This is so intese. It's a very powerful poem shedding light of the "forgotten", who have died in the name of their country, as it exposes the corruption which plagues our authorities.
You see, this doesn't just apply to the U.S, you can see the same things going on here, in Lebanon.

"the rich, the privileged

who determine doctrine

who dictate faith"

GOSH this is so true. Dictating faith. In Lebanon, politics is intermingled with religion, so the politicians here LITERALLY dictate faith to the masses.
And we have people throwing themselves into battlefields, promised to have a rewarding afterlife if they die in the name of their country, fighting their enemy, in the name of God.

It's really heartbreaking. And I hope your Requiem will be heard all around the world, in the name of those who have died IN VAIN, though convinced they've died for a cause.

Thank you


Posted 10 Years Ago

Let us put this in my favorites because it is the god awful truth and what needs to be done as well. Brilliantly crafted and the imagery is priceless.

Two notes:

"soon to filled with folded flag

Let grieve for them their passage"

First line - did you mean "to be filled"?
Secone line - "Let us" or "Let's"

Wonderfully done. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted 10 Years Ago

"Let us scrawl the names of the liars

upon this blank white wall

with red marker

so their crimes will be clear" This stanza spoke to me most.

This poem is something we can all relate to being in the midst of so much political conflict. I see many parallels to my own anger at the way people get in charge and then use their "powers" for destruction of the common good of people.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Wow, what a great piece of writing. It expresses the whole concept of war so well. By the way, I'm was laughing at your headline before I read this...strange juxtaposition!

Posted 11 Years Ago

"Let us carve the names of the forgotten
in the ice of their frozen tears"

I loved this line bro!

I enjoyed reading this dude, keep
writing JR it's great!


Posted 11 Years Ago

your imagery is wonderful. the tone is perfect.

Posted 11 Years Ago

What a great anthem for doomed youth! It could be a national anthem (but is a nation without borders still a nation??) or a ditty that intoxicated revellers scream at new years eve!

My favourite passage is the following:

Let us carve the names of the forgotten
in the ice of their frozen tears
empty arms in the airport
soon to filled with folded flag

I love the concreteness of the setting and description and the how it flips our notions of airports as a place where 'love is everywhere' (from that bloody movie) and usually as a place that heralds arriveals instead of your dearly departed..

oo and the words 'mahogany expanse' - ridiculously good JR

Posted 11 Years Ago

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19 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on June 27, 2008
Last Updated on June 27, 2008




Back because Writer's Block will kill me if I stay away. Oh, and because C. Boylan gives great motherfucking review. Click here to visit Writer's Block and read her outstanding writing. Click here .. more..

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