Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

Remembering Madiba: Four Views of Violence

1—Africa (Honorable Nelson Mandela) 

Savanna Pride

Proud unbowed Lion planted freedom on impoverished savanna

Where flowered multitude grew separated by hue

Nurtured unevenly by recalcitrant wealthy few

Resources and rights harvested by tears of fear

Jailed leader of pride did protest treatment severe

Body shackled with reality of futility

Mind unrestrained maintained strength, humility

Twenty and eight year confinement, night solitary

Voice resonated boldly weary wary

Justice begrudgedly arrived through brokered devise

Someone just had to pay the price

 

2-Norway (The Face of Terror)

Summer Storm

Sudden subfusc storm ravished the Land of Peace

Raining tears upon bergfrue strewn across festive atoll

Stricken innocents placid petals pullulating water and isle

Journeying laughter, joy, love to destiny final call

 

3-USA (Just Another Day in America)

 

Just Another Day in America

Where do the flowers go, perishing before full bloom?

Bearing the scent of innocence instead of perfume

Laughter stilled by harbingers of ill will . . . .

Newtown Connecticut (a sleepy town originally known as Quanneapague, was purchased from the Pohtatuck Indians in 1705; was settled from Stratford and incorporated in 1711)  --- violence interrupts the daily activities and terminates the lives of innocents.

There is a special vase in a celestial place

For the flowers that are not in full bloom

 

4-- Middle East (Poem from Poetry Assemblage)

Will the Sky Kill the Sun

Angry preying birds screamed through the night
Raining conflict's burning streaking bursting shards
Moans of anguish, cheers of triumph and calls to Deity
War presents a menu for varied appetite
Quivering crying children include survival in their prayers
To wonder when this night is done
"Will the angry sky kill the Sun?"

 


 

Counting Casualties of War 

Civilians, the general populace are the punctuation marks on the pages describing historical conflicts.  These same pages chronologically annotate the activities of heroes, villains, rulers, warriors, and technocrats. Military casualties are words read aloud ---- revered, memorialized. Whereas civilian casualties like commas and periods are silent though essential parts of contextual commentary.

Recently the number of USA Civil War military deaths was raised by demographers from 620,000 to 750,000 ---- some historians believe that total should be 200,000 more. The civilian toll was not mentioned although further research disclosed it could be several hundred thousand. Rather than inserting a table at this juncture, I implore you to do the research instead of sending me the three and four letter acronym laced sentence replies. Pick a War, any War ---- I'll start with World War II to give you a nudge. The civilian casualties most associated with the WW2 are the Jewish Holocaust figure exceeding six million. What makes this total so appalling, though by no means intending to minify is these horrific genetic experiments were a reprise of the 1890 AD misdeeds by Germany in Africa as the World belatedly reacted again. There were 25 million Russian civilian casualties in World War II. Yes, this is not a typo ---- 25 MILLION! Prominent historians believe this figure could be as high as 40 - 50 million.

Gone are the days of combat areas and jousting fields to decide conflicts. One arrow, one kill has faded into obscurity as well. Long range missiles, saturation bombings, high psychological impact targets are the bills of fare with civilians bearing the brunt of casualties, famine, and destruction of lifestyle.

The victors fire weapons into the air in celebration while collateral damage victims wearing aprons, carrying work implements and hugging toys lay in ruins, doorways, sidewalks and ditches. There are parades and memorials at the cessation of hostilities for the military. Civilians stare aimlessly at faded photographs and cry upon empty pillows.

There should be a holiday and organization for civilian victims. January 1 would suffice ---- and hope that the rest of the year does not add any more members.

 Columbus, UFOs and the 2016 Presidential Election

At 10:00 PM on 11 October 1492 Rodrigo Triana, a seaman on the flagship Santa Maria saw what appeared to be a giant candle veil, increase in intensity before ascending skyward.  He alerted Cristobal Colon aka Christopher Columbus of this phenomenon on or near Watlings Island in Guanahani off the main island San Salvador in the Bahamas chain.  This was one of several similar sightings recorded in the navigational logs of History’s most famous voyage to the often depicted New World. The ensuing day Columbus when he saw the inhabitants of San Salvador did not utter “may the force be with you” or “take me to your leader” gleefully crying out instead, “miran a los habanos” (habanos or havanos  is Spanish for tan ones and they were not referencing cigars which have the same designation in modern parlance).  Columbus thought these inhabitants were Indios (Indians, the indigenous people of India) and his ships were south of China, the charted designation of the fleet of three ships (Nino, named for one of the co-owners of the smallest of the ships; Pinta, Pintada or “Painted One” humorously named for the hostess of a bawdy tavern / house of leisure seaman hangout (unfortunately the name stuck instead of Santa Clara) and Santa Maria, the winter mooring bay in Spain for these and many other ships).

 

He summoned his translator Luis de Torres, who spoke several Indio-Arabic dialects as well as Chinese and is historically acknowledged as the first Jew to set foot in the Americas.  WHAT! ---- he spoke the language of India and didn’t open a “new deli” (New Delhi)?  Sorry, but that pun was too obvious.  1492 also was the Year that the Office of the Inquisition aka “The Inquisition” via Queen Isabella decreed that Jews and Muslims should either convert to Christianity or leave Iberia (Spain and Portugal). This decree was reinforced in 1501, officially ending the 800 plus years domain of Moors that included a World conquest and the domination of most of Europe.  To Columbus´ dismay the large land mass south of the Bahamas was not mainland China, but another island ---- Cuba to be exact. He was further astonished when another large mass to the West was an island as well, Hispaniola ---- the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  Though educated at the top navigational institution in Portugal as were many of the early European explorers; Columbus had miscalculated by at least 4000 miles the circumference of the Earth and had landed in a New World.  Ever the opportunist, he enslaved the locals and began to mine the discovered gold to present to the Queen instead of the anticipated silks, porcelains and essences.

 

Arguably, Columbus was not a racist as his actions would infer ---- his navigator, Martín Alonso Pinzón was Black and his crew multi-national.  As subsequent voyages to the Caribbean brought enslaved Africans to augment the dwindling, massacred indigenous labor forces ---- the long often unwitting alliance of Spanish, Blacks and the oppressed began.  Some highlights of this union were:

 

(a)    the conquest of the known world by a Moor, Hannibal and the birth of armored warfare with the use of elephants as tanks. Descendants of the ensuing Moorish occupancy produced literary greats, classical musical icons and heads of State

 

 (b) Gaspar Yanga, an African nobleman sold into slavery in Veracruz Mexico with other runaways joined the oppressed indigenous and fought Spain to a standstill in a 39 year war from 1570 to 1609, land was ceded (a town in Veracruz bears his name) and this populace became known as the “First Free People in America”.  Vicente Guerrero, a descendant of Yanga became the first Black President of Mexico.

 

 

 (c) Mexican General Bernardo Galvez (City of Galveston Texas bears his name in tribute) multi-national armada controlled the waterways from Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi River to the southern tip of the Great Lakes during the Revolutionary War. Haitian fur trader, Jean Pointe DuSable established the trading post which became Chicago at this local on Lake Michigan.

 

 (d)  Simon Bolivar, a wealthy Black aristocrat with Iberian roots born in 1783, the year the War for Independence ended was the George Washington of South America as his forces liberated much of South America and abolished slavery decades before slavery was allegedly abolished in the USA

 

 (e) Afro-Cuban General Calixto Garcia was a leader of the Cuban insurgent forces that toppled Spain in the Spanish-American War

 

 (f) Mexico and Peru became the largest importer / exporter of African slaves (18 million compared to the 3.5 to 4 million that were imported directly to the USA from Africa)

 

 (g) There were freed slaves that fought for the British and were repatriated to Barbados

 

 

The alliance of Blacks and Spanish (Mexico in particular) when examining USA politics demarcates a national election force.  This was acknowledged by USA President Barack Obama as he credited Blacks and Mexicans for his re-election.  The ongoing conflict over the Budget are ruses to destroy this allegiance by placing critical policies for minorities i.e. Health Care, Immigration Reform and Jobs in abeyance.   Negative anti-Administration advertisements are saturated with distortions and key words e.g. “disappointed”, “not one of us”, “lack of leadership”, “unconcerned”; et al.

 

The 2014 midterm Elections are approaching, with programmed, depicted coalescing skills Republican candidate(s) supported by big corporate sponsors in critical States should emerge making 2016 very interesting.

 

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