H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






Found Poem: Camp Speicher, Iraq



the idling Black Hawk helicopter thumping,

the blades above drowning the world,  

belongings of four dead soldiers.

A black vinyl body bag—

an American contractor killed,

a suicide bombing in downtown Baquba,

35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

"To feel the weight of your comrade,

to lift the dead body of a fellow American,

who can prepare for that?"

Silence of the horror—waking up to reality.

A technician for the Missouri National Guard,

conducting military’s a “hero mission”,

retrieving from the battlefield

the body of an American soldier or a dead contractor,

with ritual and respect, from instance of death

to the moment  bodies are loaded onto a cargo plane.

Cataloging the names, transporting the personal belongings,

40 soldiers pay their last respects

before the bodies are flown to a base in Balad,

On one mission, a chopper and a second Black Hawk


carried six dead American soldiers,


an impossible fit if their bodies had not been so broken


from the bomb blasts.



[Originally published in NHS 2009, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs09/Ali_Zarrin.htm.]