- Andrew’s Alley – Krista Schwimmer
- In Rhyme – L.E. Mintz
- What must be said – Günter Grass
- What We All Must Say – Jim Smith
- But Don’t See Me – Ronald K. Mc Kinley
- Our Lady – Mary Getlein
- Under the Sole – Hal Bogotch
Nobel Prize winner and Germany’s most famous writer, Günter Grass, has been in the middle of a fire storm of criticism and praise for the past month for writing the following poem. What Must Be Said has become one of the most controversial poems since Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Amiri Baraka’s Who Blew Up America. Yet, for all the media coverage of the controversy, the poem itself has not been presented to the American public. To the best of our knowledge, the Beachhead is the first newspaper to print it in its entirety, as follows:
What must be said
By Günter Grass
Why have I been silent, silent for so long?
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.
What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by its neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.
Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by its name?
Israel and its ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.
We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:
Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call it “business,” “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.
Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.
Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.
We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.
It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.
It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.
————–What We All Must Say By Jim Smith Why have we all kept silent while the sun was setting and the darkness rising? Why have we kept silent while the homeless are abandoned outside the mansions of the rich? Why have we kept silent while the American bully bombs, dictates and subverts little nations? Why have we kept silent while our criminal justice system becomes the criminal? Why have we kept silent while Native Americans suffer in their own land? Why have we kept silent while the Palestinians became the new Native Americans? Why have we kept silent while our country commits war crimes in Afghanistan And plots with Israel to make a sneak attack on Iran Why haven’t we risen up in the millions against the blight of Wall Street? Why do we not fight the corporate pillage of our Earth? Do we secretly long for species death, for a suicidal/genocidal peace? And why did it take the poem of an 84-year-old named Günter Grass to at long last loosen our pens and tongues? ———— But Don’t See Me By Ronald K. Mc Kinley You look But don’t see me My pain is animate The potency increased With age and unused love You question my rights But don’t see me My hunger all too real The food will be thrown away With restrictions and malice You call me names But don’t see me My body changed and morphed The skill of your hate With heavy handed scorn You wall off the earth But don’t see me My cells the same as yours The light gone from your being With guns and laws to keep me low You will look to me one day But will not be seen My vision will be redirected The fragrance of goodness held With transcendence the reward ———– Our Lady Our lady of the deep blue sea Don’t forsake us, don’t forget us Us midnight travelers of your depths New day, new depths new ocean: Huge waves crest the top of the breakwater you can walk right next to it taking a chance – A huge wave hurls over the rocks and onto you – you’re drenched, but happy you feel more alive than you ever felt before. transcendental beauty of the world beauty of the world what does that mean? The way nature looks when you stay out of its way the best thing you can do for nature is leave it alone That’s what conservationists say: leave it alone and it will repair it will send out new sprouts of life life is always repairing the warp that humans have destroyed the warp and weave of life the threads in a straight line or else you can’t weave all the threads have to be going in one direction if all the threads were messed up you couldn’t weave So – if we are all pulled in all directions what can we possibly achieve? we have to get all our threads going to the same place LOVE which is hard to do when confronted by gestapo tactics. LOVE always trumps HATE. – Mary Getlein ———— Under the Sole The 99% have captured the world’s imagination yet it is the 1% who are deprived
their hearts cut off from human warmth and affection their obsessive grasping of evermore wealth a vain attempt
to fill an abyss of a chasm of lonely emptiness contrast that with the unalloyed joy of sharing chest to chest and mouth to mouth
in a flow of reciprocal lovingkindness pity the self-crowned island kings
and industrialist Capitans
engraved on hollow Rushmores of terminal greed ever hypervigilant, lest a slim sliver of gold or a slight platinum disc
slip from their tight, tenuous grips oh, great glorious 99, I admire your expanse of wondrous terra-turf, under the sole
of the playful soul’s playground how couldst one envy the gilded 1 percenters their chest cavities filled with the black-red dust of shriveled, ancient, desiccated gladness? ‘twould be madness. –Hal Bogotch