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We are rough, all of us, and have lost
the touch and the feel of skin. We do not,
we do not cause friction, or love.
By now, we burn cigarettes on the arms
of children, if their names are odd.

I saw people dancing in the street,
the beat of their feet, their hollering,
humanskin drumskins, the bonfire bones --
they were drunk on blood.

O Babylon, you have made
monsters of all of us.

---

Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, 
   happy is the one who repays you 
   according to what you have done to us. 
Happy is the one who seizes your infants 
   and dashes them against the rocks.
-psalm 137
A poem on the death of Osama Bin Laden. Also a reply to this prompt: [link]

on this picture:

:thumb207948070:

[link]

(do I need a premium account to link thumbs?)

which, I realise is a bit overdue or something. Still, I was looking at this, and thinking of the death of Osama and the celebrations of people.

I'm not pointing any fingers. Poetic critiques and thoughts requested, as well as political opinions and bitchiness. I will probably be editing this a bit one of these days, I feel (lol) as if it is missing an element of connectivity.
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:icondefinitivecontent:
DefinitiveContent Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011
this was thoughtful and well worded, I actually thought the shift from we, to I, to us, was a good way to create some connectivity you were concerned about. although I was a bit thrown by the lines about burning cigarettes on the arms of children ; as at least in the US - those particular injuries are more closely associated with instances of domestic child abuse.
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011  Professional Writer
Hmm, you are right... And thank you for the kind words :)
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:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011  Student Writer
This is wonderful. I love how you use Babylon here. "bonfire bones" is simply lovely.
:heart:
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you for your kind words :) I am glad you liked the poem - did you read the comments on Babylon, or did you 'just' like it?
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:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Student Writer
I did read the comments on Babylon - I knew most of the history already, but it was interesting to read (also, this is rather random, but I sang "Belshazzar's Feast" last March, and one of the lines was from the very psalm, I think: "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed/Happy shall he be that taketh thy children/And dasheth them against a stone," - which made the poem even more lovely!). I'm also intrigued (and a bit confused) by the topic of Babylon as I've heard it used so many ways in songs - in some music, there are lyrics such as "she's my Babylon" (or words to that effect) which never fail to confuse me as I'm not sure if that's supposed to be an insult or not. :giggle:

Also, I was just rereading your poem and have to say: "hollering,/humanskin drumskins" is just beautiful!
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2011  Professional Writer
Heh, I suppose that would mean something along the lines of "she is the one who tempts and corrupts me", what with 'the whore of Babylon' and all. Or perhaps someone that he longs for release from? It's ambiguous, to be sure :)

And thank you :)
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:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Student Writer
Aha - probably! Definitely ambiguous; thank-you for the help, I'll have fun trying to figure it out!

:heart:
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Professional Writer
Incidentially, you might enjoy this poem that I found today:

[link]
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:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2011  Student Writer
Ooh - that was interesting, thank-you for the suggestion! :heart:
(I'd honestly suggest something back, but gah, there's too many lovely literature pieces and not enough time for me to choose!)
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:iconazizriandaoxrak:
AzizrianDaoXrak Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I can really appreciate this poem. As an American citizen, I would like to say that I DO NOT agree with the celebrations following someone's death. While I understand some of the sentiments, I believe that in death there are no sides - while this is, in some ways, a political victory, I do not feel it appropriate to celebrate murder.

I therefore agree with you entirely, and I love the way you have phrased this. Your imagery is brilliant. Well done :)
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you :)
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very interesting view-point. i understand where you are coming from,although i'm not sure i totally agree.
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Writer
I realize it's a very emotional thing for many, especially those in the US :)
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yes it is,but we still have a long road ahead of us where terrorism is concerned and this is not a good time to revel in other's folly. we do not need to let our guard down or it will be our demise again and i'm afraid there is still to come.what exactly was your aim at adding thePsalms verse? out of curiousity-i know,it killed the cat
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Writer
Historically, that particular passage has been somewhat problematic for Christians, since it's, well, rather unchristian. It's not like you can answer the question "what would Jesus do" with "Kill some babies." Mostly this has been done by attempting to characterize it as a metaphor, which it probably isn't, or at least, it isn't just a metaphor.

This also creates a link between Babylon, (or Satan, or at least the Bad Guys) and Bin Laden.
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wondering because alot of times passages are taken out of context.people do not tend to study or even refer back in order to get the true meaning of the passage they are reading.
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Writer
Well, to me, here, that's part of the point. Psalm 137 is just as much about not forgetting Zion/Jerusalem/The Promised Land, which, to me, would be the moral path or the path of virtue, justice, etc.
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:iconnumbskulled00:
numbskulled00 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
and this is coming from a non-believer? you never cease to amaze me
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:iconrober2:
rober2 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2011  Professional Writer
I can appreciate the metaphor and some of the ethics, even if I do not believe in a deity :) One of my favourite blogs is [link] , and is by a Christian. If nothing else, the bible is good literature (sometimes)
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