Mudlark Flash No. 28 (2004)

Ted Lardner | War

Ted Lardner teaches writing and lives in Ohio. His poems have appeared in Caliban, 5am, LUNA, Clackamas Literary Review, and other journals.


               Ratio of Americans killed by lightning since January 2002
               to those killed by terrorism: 3:2.

                                                                 — Harper's Index

The war on lightning
on thunder mudslides seismic disturbances
volcanic activities blind thrust fault slippage
on siroccos virga santa anna
cyclonic and anti cyclonic

Entering his 17th term
the President announced
new security measures.
“We are instruments of God,”
the President by top aids
is said to have murmured.
Groups of Republican donors
continue to work, removing the worms
around the clock
from the President’s eyes.

The war on rain.
The war on night morning fog stillness.
The war on the hush that descends,
the teeth of frost.
The war on hail straight-line wind micro-bursts
sun spots magnetic disruption the earth’s
gravitational wobble.
The war on pressure systems air masses ridges and troughs.
The war on leaves.
The war on fog.

The war on hoarfrost spring and Indian summer.
The war on permafrost duff loess and loam.
The war on cirrus nimbus stratus and popcorn clouds.
The war on meteors showering the White House
lawns with reflected light.
The war on unregulated light refracted through un-navigable water.
The war on tides floods seeps cricks swells rollers rapids bores flats pools
eddies of all vortices.

The war on moon gravity menstruation estrus.
The war on heat lightning seasonal heating heat sinks heat rising.
The war on ball lightning sheet lightning black ice of all colors granulations densities.
The war on dirt dust soil mud clay ooze mire slime slicks and sludges.
The war on electricity any form or use thereof.
The war on smoky mountain valley chlorophyll change in leaf coloration
of eastern deciduous forests.

The war on lightning.
The war on sleet.
The war on the 18th term of snow.
The war on the 19th election of tropical mist.
The war on woods.
The war on foxfire.

The President
from his wheelbarrow
announced today the last fireflies
held as enemy combatants
at Guantanamo have died.

The war on birds.
The war on migration.
The war on lice sea worms intestinal bacteria anaerobic microbes in sea vents.
The war on wind.
The war on shadows carving any landscape into livable moments.
The war on prairie.
The war on wind.
The war on clouds.
The war on rain.
The war on.

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