The Misfortune Teller ("Roses for Ramadi")

Roses for Ramadi
(in the Gaelic Bardic verse style)

Roses for Ramadi wilt
What was built has now annoyed
Redux of Fallujah's fate
On the slate to be destroyed

Punishment collectivized
Bastardized barbaric deeds
Trap a city in a bag
Sowing dragon's teeth like seeds

Power in the hands of boys
Used to toys as playthings cheap
Wiping out whole city blocks
Shit in crocks they savor deep

Fanboy fascists masturbate
Up too late past bedtime's dreams
Both hands busy 'neath the sheets
Strafing streets with spurting streams

Soldier's soldier, GI Joe,
Rides the flow and does the job
Orders coming down the chain
Not his pain and not his sob

Culture's values all undone
Empire's sun begins to set
Foreign legion festering
Feeling sting of goals unmet

Keep the dark deed under wraps
Vicious laps in circles run
Refugees out on the roads
Mr. Toad's wild ride begun

Hobson's choices now arrayed
Those afraid can pick and choose
Flee and live or stay and die
Don't ask why you always lose

Hear Westmoreland's ghostly voice!
Peasant choices come to these:
Leave your homes and live in slums
Leave the plums and pickings, please

Those who do not "value life"
In their strife-torn cities burned
Shouldn't mind the ones we slay
Anyway, it's what they've earned

Ingrates who don't value us,
Doubleplusgood-speaking-wise,
Have no bodies worth the count
No amount we recognize

Closet monsters, though, get spin
Goldstein infiltrates the rear
Powerless; despicable;
Laughable; yet still we fear

In a moment's heated breath
One man's death we celebrate
In a month when thousands die
Still the lie we must inflate

Roses for Ramadi wilt
Suitors jilted by their prey
Spurned by poor Penelope
Now they'll see her rue the day

Roses for Ramadi wilt
Lovely lilting laughter lost
In the siege and slaughter soon
Just the moon will know the cost

Roses for Ramadi wilt
Windmills tilted at and trashed
Flowers drop their petal loads
Mr. Toad's wild ride has crashed

Roses for Ramadi droop
Soldiers trooping; no one mourns
Like Fallujah's “final” throes
Now no roses, only thorns

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2006