07 August 2011

Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

 photograph by Valery Lorenzo
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
 And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
 Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life, 
 photograph by Horst
 I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
 When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

 photograph by Valery Lorenzo
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell 1945  Jarrell, too old to serve as a combat pilot, Jarrell served as a pilot 
instructor in WWII
much changes-then nothing does. still young men die to fill an old man's head with dreams of power& his hands full of money to stuff into his pockets.  the deadliest day in a ten year war
A NATO Chinook helicopter was shot down southwest of Kabul on Saturday, killing 39 troops on board. Eight of those were Afghan soldiers and 
31 were Americans, including members of SEAL Team 6.


  1. Yes. I have such deep sadness for our young heroes lost because of old men's egos and greed. Mary

  2. I am so saddened by the the losses yesterday in Afghanistan. Your soul seems to feel so deeply. Thank you for sharing words that help me voice my indignation.

  3. proper and necessary
    and v well armed.

    we can't "object" to
    an elegant framing
    of a horrific mis-
    carriage of policy,
    because the good
    is directly challenged
    by it.

  4. This poem was on my reading radar last month and set aside. It seemed such a shock to the nerves, brutal. After the lost of life yesterday it seemed to sum up the waste of it all, at least to my mind. The ball turret was mounted on aircraft during World War II and the gunner was inside, a ball of fire it was-an innovative death trap.

  5. Please let me add fiew words about the first photography.
    The Angel is a drawing with chalk that i've found on a wall in Paris, by (and I almost certainty) Jean Charles de Castelbajac, another pacifist.
    He was an hommage to Mr. Ivan Terestchenko, which I love the work and the state of mind.


    Let me also tell you what Jan Saudek wrote me in a letter :
    "Life truly is a sieve. Those big heavy rocks, (Mandela, Sadaam, Castro) oh yes, they stay, squashing others, on the top.
    Oh yes ! But that most precious fine sand, the golden dust, heavy and genuine, lays on the bottom".

    For memory...



    If my modests images can be used to support peaceful intentions, I am yours. It is even an honor.


    Thank you infiniment PGT !

    With heart and soul



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