Shadow War
A Poetic Chronicle of September 11 and Beyond, Volume Five
(Revised, second edition)

Paperback: 105 pp.
Published: 2004

Price: $14.95




Louis Daniel Brodsky’s Shadow War, Volume Five begins on June 17, 2002, and concludes with an epilogue written the day after the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, thus bringing the series to closure.
The initial focus of this book is on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with its point-counterpoint of suicide bombings and retaliatory incursions and curfews, as well as President Bush’s diplomatic pressure on both sides to find a solution.
Gradually, the administration's call for war against Iraq grows louder, deflecting America's attention from its commitment in Afghanistan, to protect President Hamid Karzai and stabilize his government by pursuing al-Qa'eda. All the while, two questions continue to taunt the U.S.: is Osama bin Laden alive, and if so, where is he?
Several poems deal with Americans paranoia about terrorism in their homeland, especially around Independence Day and Labor Day, which fall in the period chronicled by this volume.
In the last month and a half recorded in Shadow War, Volume Five, the poems alternate between escalation of rhetoric about war with Iraq and commemoration of the first anniversary of 9/11. Many of them explore the debate over a potential preemptive strike and the increasing opposition to it from nations around the world. The final poems concentrate on how America honors those who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, providing a poignant and sobering account of the events surrounding September 11, 2002. The epilogue looks forward to a time untormented by the shadow of war, born of hope, peace.






This Sunday morning,
I lose myself to watching sparrows
Hop across hot slabs of concrete
Forming the terrace of this coffeehouse,
Gather pastry crumbs in their beaks.

I'm mesmerized by their industriousness,
Their frenetic scavenging,
Their full-scale invasion of tabletops and chairs
Littered with trash left by recent patrons,
Their territoriality, their mindless self-preservation.

So minuscule yet so monumental are these birds,
Undomesticated yet unintimidated
By the enormity of world surrounding them.
Why am I not able to relate?
Could it be that they can't calculate their tininess?







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