ten years ago today

Ten years ago, we walked in pain,
marched down our city streets:
invasion planned, we took a stand.
Though now it seems in vain,
were not alone;
we join our voices with
our brothers, sisters globally,
resisting tyranny,
rejecting thought that dropping bombs
fosters democracy.
Today, Fireblossom challenges the Real Toads to write a poem with a particular ballad-ish form and meter.

Ten years ago today, people around the world marched in protest of the planned invasion of Iraq by the United States. My husband and I (ah, my boyfriend, then!) marched in Pittsburgh. This earlier poem, called "Invasion," describes that night:

I was suited and stockinged,
high-heeled, pregnant.
You were quietly outraged.


As the bombs dropped,
we paraded more than marched,
then walked all the way home

united in pain.

"Invasion" appears in my poetry collection, Responsive Pleading.


  1. Marian, I love both poems, and felt the same pain then. Yes, how on EARTH do they figure bombing the crap out of people can bring peace? Argh.

  2. Again, Marian, you address the important topics so naturally and so eloquently. Thank you. ♥

  3. I'm enthralled by the way the form lends itself to this then and now approach to a protest poem. Those short lines in the middle arrest the flow and form a natural bridge between the two sections. I can imagine you out there, pregnant and fighting already for a better world for your children to inherit.

  4. Has it really been 10 years? We stood on a corner with protest signs as well. I hate that there is still war--and that the US is still a participant. Sigh. Seems we were protesting this 50 years ago as well.

  5. What I recall most is that so many people were so hawkish, and were saying that people who were against the war were "unpatriotic" and even that they should be silenced or jailed. (Teh stoopid, it is prevalent; what exactly do those people think "freedom" means?) It was a completely unnecessary war of choice, sold to the American public with lies (but now the same party pretends to be horrified about Ambassador Rice) for the sole purposes of oil, profits, and proving that Dubya's thing is longer than his dad's. The cost in dollars has been staggering (and again, the same party that endorsed this fantastic waste is now supposedly the party of fiscal responsibility) and the cost to human lives, both the dead and the damaged, is incalculable. But hey, Bushy got his phoney-baloney aircraft carrier photo op, so how can it not have been worth it?

    War for peace, as they say, is like fucking for virginity. Great poem, Marian, and thanks for standing up then and writing for the challenge today.

    1. oh but at least there's some entertainment value in fucking for virginity.

  6. I can see the difference in time--the new poem standing back to observe while the old one from the middle of the fight. Shay called out the absurdity of fighting for peace. Protesting is a necessity, and I am greaTFUL FOR ALL WHO GET OUT THERE FAITHFULLY. Bless YOU. I remember protesting against the first Gulf war on the streets of San Francisco when the possibility of a prayerful presence eroded when gangs used the atmosphere for riot and destruction. What if when we stood we were a unified wave heading toward the decision makers, if our focus was stronger than weapons? Some of Gandhi's protests had that kind of effective unity.

    Thanks for giving us both poems today.

  7. I am amazed at all the political commentary with today's poetic structure. It truly is a testament to the versatility of form to fit all these different topics.

  8. But wars continue to erupt...people learn little...

  9. An excellent used of the sing-songy cadence of this(something I eschewed, not really on purpose, but just didn't have the poem for it) and it just shatters complacency in its sharp drawing of the divide we try to straddle in this country/world--one where it seems the earth moves your feet a little further apart every day. I am totally in agreement with everything FB said, and also in the view that both poems are very strong presentations of the same spirit. Thanks for speaking out, for walking in pain, and for writing about it--I don't think any of it's in vain, however it seems in the short term view.

  10. is that really teen years, where does time go? so important to keep recalling and writing and pleading and demanding

  11. Poetry at its best... a voice speaking out, passionately. Keep it up!

  12. A strong poem with an important point of view!

  13. I love how you use your poetry to speak up/speak out about hard issues.

  14. I love the strong stance, in poetic form, you shared with us ... back in the 60's I had many opportunities for protest. What a world we live in!!!

  15. Marian-wow, these are amazing!
    I love what you shared and what you did!

  16. Your clarity of voice, always present, is especially strong in this piece. Bravo!!


  17. thanks, friends. as if it makes any difference at all. sigh.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!