The army has its drummers,|
but they only know one rhythm.
Just a relentless rat-a-tat-tat
on the same old snare
they've been beating for every war.
If it weren't so strident
it would put us to sleep.
If it weren't so piercing
we might even dream.
But dreaming is dangerous,
so their drummers keep a time
that keeps the troops in lock-step line:
We march for peace.
We walk out of step.
No snares here.
We have bongos,
and congas, and djembes,
tabla, bodhrans, tomtoms,
doumbeks and many other
exotic so-called foreign drums
that beg bare hands to get down
and syncopated, and even downright
No one keeps us in line
because no one has to.
No one here cares
if we walk or dance.
Did I mention we have no snares?
I even saw one young guy today
who recycled a plastic tank
from his dad's water cooler.
It works fine.
Just add sticks!
No need to lay pipe
in the Afghan desert.
Just stretch some rawhide over one end
and you've got your own drum.
You can play it by ear.
You can play it by hand.
You can start your own disarmy band.
Hell, even oil drums
could be put to better uses
than rusting around crude gunk.
Turn 'em over.
Grab two sticks.
Beat out a rhythm with no snares,
a rhythm straight out of dreamtime,
with eyes wide open
and feet that dare
· · · · · ·
Iraq on Swans
Poetry on Swans
Sabina Becker is a poet and a writer who lives in Cobourg, Ontario with her computer, her books and her cats. You can see more of her work at http://www.sabinabecker.com. This is Becker's second contribution to Swans.
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