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this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters

I said yesterday that this series of daily diaries has now entered the 300 zone. Maybe it's like watching your odometer turn, or noting that the number of US soldiers killed has reached 2,000, or that the number of Iraqis killed is now  - well, you know what I mean.

Yes, they're artificial milestones, just as my 18th, 25th, 30th, 40th, and most recently 50th birthdays were all pretty much the same as my other birthdays, which themselves were pretty much the same as any other April day picked at random.

But for whatever reason, we greet these occasions with a different sensibility. Perhaps here, this is the chance for each of us to see images we may have missed, or to see them again with new eyes, or old.

images for days 51-100 and selected poems below the fold. Note - Several images depict graphic scenes of death and mutilation.

Thanks to all who visited yesterday, and for your comments. There were so many (almost as many as were in my one pie-fight diary), and they were all so thoughtful.

I especially thank Liberaljentaps, and point out the link he/she provided - a rendition of the song featured in yesterday's diary.

Note: Tony Kline is a poet and translator who runs the rich and wonderful site Poetry in Translation. I've used many poems that Tony has translated, including one featured today from Day 81, and he has provided me with generous help and encouragement. I encourage all poetry lovers, and others, to visit Tony's site.

Day 51

Day 52

Days 53 and 54

Day 55

Day 56

Day 57

Day 58

Day 59

Day 60

Day 61

Day 62

Day 63

Day 64

Day 65

Day 66

Day 67

Day 68

Day 69

Day 70

Day 71

Day 72

Day 73

Day 74

Day 75

Day 76

Day 77

Day 78

Day 79

Day 80

Day 81

Day 82

Day 83

Day 84

Day 85

Day 86

Day 87

Day 88

Day 89

Day 90

Day 91

Day 92

Day 93

Day 94

Day 95

Day 96

Day 97

Day 98

Day 99

Day 100

From Day 71

Painful Choice
by Maeve Brennan
from the book The Long-Winded Lady

I was in a small supermarket the other evening, waiting to have my things put in a bag, when I saw a shabby tall man with red eyes, who had obviously been drinking heavily since the cradle, trying to decide between a can of beans, a canned whole dinner, a canned soup, and a canned chicken a la king. He had thirty-seven cents or twenty-nine cents of some sum like that, and he was standing there with the four cans, glaring down at them and all around at the stalls of vegetables and fruit and bread and so on. He couldn't make up his mind what to buy to feed himself with, and it was plain that what he really wanted wasn't food at all. I was thinking I wouldn't blame him a bit if he just put the cans back on their shelves, or dropped them on the floor, and dashed into the bar-and-grill next door, where he could simply ask for a beer and drink it. Later on it occurred to me that, putting it roughly, there is usually only one thing we yearn to do that's bad for us, while if we try to make the effort to do a virtuous or good thing, the choice is so great and wide that we're really worn out before we can settle on what to do. I mean to say that the impulse toward good involves choice, and is complicated, and the impulse toward bad is hideously simple and easy, and I feel sorry for that poor tall red-eyed man.

September 18, 1954

From day 81

from Ballade: Du Concours De Blois
by Francois Villon
as presented in Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson

In my own country I am in a far-off land
I am strong but have no force or power
I win all yet remain a loser
At break of dawn I say goodnight
When I lie down I have a great fear
of falling.

Ballade: Du Concours De Blois
par Francois Villon
translation by A. S. Kline

I'm dying of thirst beside the fountain,
Hot as fire, and with chattering teeth:
In my own land, I'm in a far domain:
Near the flame, I shiver beyond belief:
Bare as a worm, dressed in a furry sheathe,
I smile in tears, wait without expectation:
Taking my comfort in sad desperation:
I rejoice, without pleasures, never a one:
Strong I am, without power or persuasion,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.

Nothing is sure for me but what's uncertain:
Obscure, whatever is plainly clear to see:
I've no doubt, except of everything certain:
Science is what happens accidentally:
I win it all, yet a loser I'm bound to be:
Saying: `God give you good even!' at dawn,
I greatly fear I'm falling, when lying down:
I've plenty, yet I've not one possession,
I wait to inherit, yet I'm no heir I own,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.

I never take care, yet I've taken great pain
To acquire some goods, but have none by me:
Who's nice to me is one I hate: it's plain,
And who speaks truth deals with me most falsely:
He's my friend who can make me believe
A white swan is the blackest crow I've known:
Who thinks he's power to help me, does me harm:
Lies, truth, to me are all one under the sun:
I remember all, have the wisdom of a stone,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.

Merciful Prince, may it please you that I've shown
There's much I know, yet without sense or reason:
I'm partial, yet I hold with all men, in common.
What more can I do? Redeem what I've in pawn,
Welcomed gladly, and spurned by everyone.

From Day 93

Why Don't We Mourn as a Nation?
by RubDMC
based on the essay Why We Don't Mourn
by Tom Watson

All Italy mourns Nicola Calipari
His honored body
Streams of visitors
A state funeral
The gold medal of valor

But there's no national mourning in the U.S.
For our soldiers
For any soldier

We avoid it
Our leaders avoid it
Our trained seal national media avoids it

Have you paused to watch
A national prayer service
For our dead in Iraq and Afghanistan
Over the past two bloody years?

No, because
It hasn't happened

1,500 killed so far in Iraq
Do you recall
The national day of mourning?

No, because
President Bush has never named one

We have local stories about "our heroes"
Killed in Fallujah
Killed in Baghdad
Killed in Mosul
Local funerals
Local ceremonies of grief
Local newspaper stories
About the high school athlete
The volunteer fireman
The father, mother
The husband, wife
The son, daughter
Who went to war and never came home

But, nothing national
Nothing American

In war
Horrendous mistakes
Among jittery
Heavily-armed troops
Lead to mistaken death and injury
It is part of the cost society has decided to accept
Following the path laid out by our national leadership

What we don't have to accept
Is the national silence that greets the dead
From an administration
That doesn't want photographs
Of coffins arriving

Why don't we mourn as a nation?
The reason is

Our leaders don't care

- - -

view the pbs newshour silent honor roll (with thanks to jimstaro at booman.)

take a private moment to light one candle among many (with thanks to TXSharon)

support veterans for peace
support the Iraqi people
support the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
support CARE
support the victims of torture
remember the fallen
support Gold Star Families for Peace
support the fallen
support the troops
support the troops and the Iraqi people
read This is what John Kerry did today, the diary by lawnorder that prompted this series
read Riverbend's Bagdhad Burning
read Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches
read Today in Iraq
witness every day

cross-posted at DailyKos, Booman Tribune, European Tribune, and My Left Wing.

Originally posted to RubDMC on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 07:17 AM PST.

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