Tag Archives: US Military Bases

Our Friends and Allies

This news item is more than worrying.

Bigger US Military Role in the Philippines Sought

Sought by whom? For what? And to think the US is in huge economic trouble, yet they keep expanding their military reach. One wonders.

The article does not mention how, through many decades, there had been huge resistance to US the military presence in the country. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 forced the US to abandon its controversial military bases.

Here is a poem I wrote in 1991 and appears in Alien to Any Skin.

The Memory of Snow

When ash falls like snow
(though snow we’ve never had
and snow I’ve never seen)
why do we remember America?

Is it Sesame Street outside
where racism is non-existent
and the eagle is a big yellow bird
talking to a rag in a can?
I do not know what
they’ve taught us to forget.
Yet the memory of snow persists.

Walking on whitened streets
I thought of America moving out
of the volcano’s danger zone
leaving my ancient sisters and brothers
curled up in their huts
like so much pubic hair.

I cannot read the earth,
but this much I know:

the world will not end.

There still is so much to unlearn
like fabricated memories
of America where it snows
and children make snowballs
and snowmen with carrot noses.

It is ash that falls, not snow.
I must learn to tell the difference.

June 1991
-o-

Collapsed hangars at Clark Air Base after Mount Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991. Source: Wikipedia

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Chagos Islanders Still in Limbo

‘What in the World?’ is an Irish series of tv documentaries presented and produced by Peadar King. (See also http://kmfproductions.net) In this episode, Peadar King travels to Mauritius to meet the original inhabitants of the Chagos Islands (Indian Ocean). The Chagos Islanders were secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to make way for an American military base on the main island of Diego Garcia. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, please visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at http://www.chagossupport.org.uk.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION – GO TO http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/let-the-chagos-islanders-return-home.html

I first posted the following poem in May 2009. I hope you don’t mind a second read.

Rounding Up The Dogs of the Children Who Died of Sadness

Monsters came one day, dressed
in stiff uniforms. They were fed
largely on red meat and so had grown
like giants compared to the islanders.

They scarred the land as they drove,
engines growling like hungry beasts,
churning sand and dust into the terrified
eyes of the children. Those little

Brown arms grew powerless at the sight
of fists clutching the collars of their pets.
Never before had they seen such dark
nightmares. The monsters had come

To gather all the dogs of the island.
They were taken amid screams and cries,
hearts cracking like husked coconuts
flung against jagged rocks.

-o-