Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Gadfly Proclaims the International Year of Peace

It has been agreed by most all scientists (who are not in the pay of Exxon-Mobil or the Koch brothers) — climatologists to oceanographers to geologists to botanists and entomologists — that human activity has has heated Planet Earth wantonly by increasing the greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the two worst culprits. They are produced principally by burning coal for electric power plants, drilling for gas and oil, and using gasoline and diesel fuel for cars, trucks, airplanes and ships. But, not far behind on the short list of worst offenders are: war and the military preparations for war. Just compare how many (or few) miles to the gallon you get in your SUV, with how many gallons to the mile an F-16 uses every minute. It’s even worse with Navy ships, especially destroyers (how creatively named). Then add the CO2 when the shells and bombs and missiles explode. And what pilot of a plane or ship or tank drives cautiously, using a minimum of fuel?

The Gadfly Revelry & Research team, noting that April was National Poetry Month proposed that April 2017 to April 2018 be proclaimed the International Year of Peace. The Year of Peace would start with a competition for the best poem of peace. A vote was taken among the Gadfly membership, and the proposal was passed unanimously. A priceless, autographed copy of the Lilac Book of Peace—Axioms & Quotes will be awarded to the best poem.

The members of the GR&R team immediately started at work, and produced three poems, but were informed that they were ineligible because of their Gadfly membership. They reluctantly offered their poems as samples to motivate the vast readership of the Gadfly column.

1) Mild today at seventy two, 
    gentle winds play chimes
    pianissimo, streams add their

continuo, a woodpecker
    beats a tremolo
    on a leafless tree.  Not far from 

here, West Point trains the young in
      the arts of war to 
    keep us safe from terror untold.

2) The first flutes, fashioned of
    the hollow bones of vulture wings,
forty thousand years ago,

never were a call to 
    arms,  but just for music making,
dance, and sociality.

Millennia on, through
    reeds and keys, yet always one with
the glorious art of peace.

3) As primates
    are the highest form 
of life, I wonder if

it’s all about
    opposable thumbs,
or vocal cords, or minds

that thrive on
    signs and symbols.  Some 
say:  it’s not the ways we
live, but how
    we contend, each with
each, that makes us Us.  They

point to all
    our glorious wars.  I 
offer them:  bonobos.
And now, let the competition begin.

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