Saturday, August 02, 2008

Tribute to Lavena Johnson



I swear! When I look at her she reminds me of the kids I used to teach in the high school. It's not even a race thing with me. I mean... I get weepy when I see all those young dead American soldiers. Native American, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian -- it doesn't matter. It just feels so horrible. And when one considers what happened to Lavena. Well...


The Children by Rudyard Kipling
1914-1918

('The Honours of War' - A Diversity of Creatures)

These were our children who died for our lands; they were dear in our sight.
We have only the memory left of their home-treasured sayings and laughter.
The price of our loss shall be paid to our hands, but not to another's hereafter.
Neither Alien nor Priest shall decide on it. That is our right.
But who shall return us the children?

At the hour the barbarian chose to disclose his pretences,
And raged against Man, they engaged, on the breasts that they bared for us,
The first felon-stroke of the sword he had long-time prepared for us -
Their bodies were all our defence while we wrought our defences.

They brought us anew with their blood, forbearing to blame us.
Those hours which we had not made good when the judgement o'ercame us.
They believed us and perished for it. Our statecraft, our learning
Delivered them bound to the Pit and alive to the burning
Whither they mirthfully hastened as jostling for honour -
Not since her birth has our Earth seen such worth loosed upon her.

Nor was their agony brief, or once only imposed on them.
The wounded, the war-spent, the sick received no exemption:
Being cured, they returned and endured and achieved our redemption.
Hopeless themselves of relief, till death, marvelling, closed on them.

That flesh we had nursed from the first in all cleanness was given
To corruption unveiled and assailed by the malice of Heaven -
By the heart-shaking jests of Decay where it lolled on the wires -
To be blanched or gay-painted by fumes - to be cindered by fires -
To be senselessly tossed and re-tossed in stale mutilation
From crater to crater. For this we shall take expiation.
But who shall return us our children?


Tribute to Lavena Johnson over at Electric Village



I won't say anymore. But if you haven't heard about LaVena Johnson.
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