Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Arc Light
There in the middle of the jungle night,
a bomb falls from
thirty-eight thousand feet to
pierce the ground, explode and
violently erupt upward.

A flash of light
momentarily illuminates the darkness,
blinding all those assorted nocturnal dwellers,
but not before that rapturous split second
where they see the deep verdant green
of the surrounding foliage.
There’s the white,
then the green,
then the black,
and then they who can not see
and all that lush flora are ripped asunder.

Projected upward,
a 500 pound pyrotechnic
parts the canopy of leaves
and carries every thing
once alive upwards
to there, moment’s later, rain down.
Dead from above.

Yes, death from above
begets death from above
whilst assorted strobes of light
bounce off low hanging rain clouds,
and these illuminations in turn are
reflected in the eyes of
one man who stands
in the far distance.

A green tiger-striped man who pulls a beer tab,
chuckles aloud, turns to another at his side
and says, “That, my boy,
is a thing of beauty.”

And yet there at this same moment,
these same illuminations form
sparkling catch-lights in the eyes of
black garbed men.
Black garbed men who stand equidistant on
the far side of that which would
come to be known as
“Arc Light”.

And as this other man comes to laugh,
words spring from his lips in a language…
Let’s see…
What is it?
He turns to someone and
the translation comes out something like,
“That, my boy,
is a thing of beauty.”

he says that because he knows there’s
nobody out there
beneath that Arc Light.
A B-52 drops a few
hundred thousand dollars worth of ordinance
in the middle of nowhere,
and the only things that dies are
assorted bugs, worms,
rodents, reptiles and
that which emit multi-colored
slow motion showers of
psychedelic plumage.
I’m sure it is a thing of beauty.
I guess it’s just a matter of where you’re standing.
Sort of a matter of perspective.

Many years later,
I’m watching a broadcast of Fox News with
live television footage depicting
the bombing of a place called Bagdad.
The camera spins around
and films what appears to be
lightning on the horizon.
Somewhere out there,
thousands of Iraqi Royal Guard are standing.
Well, perhaps not standing.
I think we have now passed into past tense.
Were standing.

I hear a voice reporting all that’s going on in real time.
Yes folks. This is real time, right before your eyes.
I hear words like “decisive” and
Words like “Shock and Awe”.
Yes, Fox News is saying one thing but
I’m pretty sure the translation comes through as,
“That, my boy,
is a thing of beauty.”

Yea, well…
I guess it’s all a matter of interpretation.
They may be humans.
They may be bugs.
They may be irrelevant.
Again, it all comes down to a matter of
where you’re standing.

©05 Jack Hubbell