Konch Magazine - Two Poems by Jeanne O’Day

from “Networks of War: 7 Movements” by Jeanne O’Day

Movement 1

Explosive fires leapt fanning heat 
framed like a Turner painting 
on a tiny telescreen, 
chaos made manageable, 
byte-size holocausts, 
viewed from across the Tigris, 
the cradle, rocking the world 
in rare East/West alliance: 
Al-Jazeera and Rich Engel, ABC, 
spilling out war’s primer,
basics in image and word.

Like Virgil or Rilke to a young poet,
anchor Jennings talks angel Engel,
(floating oarless now in seas of fire)
through trauma to witness, 
like a mother, reminds him, “breathe,” 
a tenderness of man to man 
never more apparent than in war.

                                                Jeanne O’Day

from “Networks of War: 7 Movements” by Jeanne O’Day

from Movement 6                         

…Back in Iraq, censoring systems scan 
and cannot compute to televise 
sewage, blood or ominous odors of oil rigs
lit like eternal flames devouring air. 
Detonations vibrate, derailing Earth’s rifts,
unnerving sea’s tempo of flow with ebb-tremoring 
plate-shifts.  “Things fall apart”; 
all’s reversed in war and all’s revised: 
And the night shall be filled with anguish; 
fears that infect the day splash the Earth
like desert mothers thrash their fate, 
ululate, and tunefully keen away.