“Stories of Battles Won and Battles Lost” is a collection of pieces by author Michael Pollick that explore conflicts and resolutions. Each poem has previously appeared in magazines and journals such as “The Iconoclast”, “Midwest Poetry Review”, “Miller’s Pond” and the political poetry anthology “Will Work For Peace”.
COLLATERAL DAMAGE REPORT
‘If it is in your power to decide,
why do you do it? But if in another’s,
whom do you find fault with, the
atoms or the gods?
Either is madness.’ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Let us skip, you and I,
through certain half-smelted streets;
where time and conscience dissolve like watches,
and glass shadows catch the first sun’s rays
fully on their mistaken faces.
(In the tents the orphaned come and go,
Cursing poor Michaelangelo.)
I am becoming more flesh than bone here,
No longer thirsty for what the architects have dropped,
No longer hungry for scraps of Oppie’s wet dreams.
No longer driven to swallow the Rebel flag whole.
I could use a quick dousing
of napalm here in my soul,
there are fires I could never put out;
I could use a spill of cluster
bombs to clear my head,
I have stains that will never wash out.
(In the quonset, survivors
come and go, jealous
There was talk today between
my god and your god,
and my god rained down fire
upon working-class Sodomand
my god rained down vengeance
on industrial Gomorrahand
my god spoke with furious anger,
and terrible wisdom-
So your little tin god spoke to his people
in his little tin voice,
and surrendered everything
he had ever wanted.
(In the new world,
poets will come and go,