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Have We Hit Bottom Yet?

“Hanging in the Woods,” by Josh Thipparat

This is a poem I wrote about three or four years ago, but since Trump seems to be on his way to becoming the new “worst president ever” I thought it might be time to dust it off and re-post it.

The opening two lines, as well as the closing three lines, are modeled somewhat loosely after the opening and closing remarks given in the Bhagavad Gita by the character Sanjaya, who reputedly had the gift of divine vision. Everything else in the poem is quintessential yours truly. For Christians who may not be familiar with it, the Bhagavad Gita is a Hindu text that relates (via Sanjaya’s remote viewing) a conversation between God–manifest on earth as Krishna–and his devoted servant, Arjuna. The conversation takes place at the outset of a cataclysmic war which destroyed a whole civilization and brought to an end an earthly era. Needless to say, we seem to be at somewhat of a similar juncture now.

So imagine yourself on a submarine, for indeed that’s what life in America is like now…we don’t know when we are going to hit bottom. We only know that the crypto Jew at the helm (Donald Trump? Obama? Hillary? The neocons? George Soros?–take your pick) is determined to take us further down…and further down…and further down…

***

Have We Hit Bottom Yet?

He who with might extends through all existence hears words
Which I, his faithful servant, utter…

Swilling the waters of the ocean, the submarine
Sank beneath the surface, taking with it light, beauty,
And the feather of a dead seagull, in its downward draft.
All cheered and hoorahed as, with a nervous tick of its hydrodynamic control fins,
The titanium-hulled craft descended through the ripples of hoodwinking light,
Spectacularly placed, its chockablock ballast tanks rendering it
A slightly greater weight in the lesser weight of the sea surrounding it.

“Have we reached bottom yet?” asked the small child.
“Not yet, but we will…eventually,” replied the bearded man
Seated nearby, favoring the child with an indulgent smile.

Further down, further down, further down…
At 65 feet we encountered the detritus of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“No pearl in an oyster that,” remarked one of the passengers,
While another expressed a great longing for some mango fruit.
“Take us down further,” ordered the captain, who was a crypto Jew.
At 110 feet we passed the corpses and the herbicide-poisoned jungles of Vietnam.
In this submarine, the ping of the sonar plays the melody of Taps.

“Have we reached bottom yet?” asked the child.
“Not yet, no,” answered the man, again with a smile,
Looking out the window himself now.

At a depth of 250 feet we came to that place in the road where
John F. Kennedy closed his eyes and that cabal of Sayanim had
Rushed in to fill the void, and at 300 feet the last remnant of sunlight
From the sea’s surface faded in total, while the crypto Jew at the helm
Called out again, “Take us further!” and the pump jets hummed merrily.
At 600 feet we encountered the cash-on-the-barrel sale of human souls
And the smuttiness of that place on the Potomac,

As the child asked once more, “Have we reached bottom yet?”
“No, I don’t think so,” said the man,
Tightening his grip on the armrest of his seat.

At 945 feet, we saw the missing limbs and missing teeth
Of Iraq, and the half-million Iraqi children we killed
Because we thought it was “worth it” and so we went back and
Killed 3 million more; and at 1290 feet we came upon the firing of
Rockets from beneath the grass, the explosions coming up out of the ground
Around the fleeing children, then at 1430 feet we saw the burning of El Chorillo,
The sludge of the Panama Canal, and the pilfered ruins of the Baghdad Museum.

“Have we?” asked the child. “Have we reached bottom? Have we
Gotten there yet?” The man gazed at the child and smiled again,
Only this time there was a hint of sadness in his smile.

One of the passengers opened a bottle of wine. “It reminds me,”
Said he, “of a story I once heard—of a man who dies in the depths
Of a vale. A great bird on top of a mountain flies down into
The depths of that vale where the man died; it eats the corpse,
Then it flies back up to the mountain. From its perch there, on a bare limb,
It vomits—it deposits dung—it drops pieces of the corpse down
Below on the people in the vale.”

At 1490 feet, we encountered a fiefdom, where we found
The warrantless searches and the broken doors of the Patriot Act.
“Have we reached bottom yet?” asked the child. The man did not answer.

The passenger who earlier had asked for mango fruit, inquired
Again if there were not some way we could possibly stop off and purchase some.
“Further!” screamed the captain. “Take us down further!”
At 1645 feet we saw the drones flying over Pakistan,
To the very furthest distance, all the way to the bags of Bagram,
The Abus of Ghraib, and the grimaces of Guantanamo, may lovely
Variegated life be remembered.

“I can taste your heart, and it tastes foul and despicable!”
The man turned his head and regarded the child disjointedly,
“Funny child, funny imagination…”

“I’d feel better if we could stop, or at least slow down,” said a woman
With a chrysalis-shaped birthmark on her face, looking doubtfully upward,
To the communications room, in the elevated chamber of the sub’s tower.
“Further! Down further!” pressed the Captain.
At 1820 feet we saw the dronefields of the Midwest and the
Comical abscesses of the NDAA, scattered here and there
Like conceptions of the meaning of “Ultimate Reality,”

The only sound now a slight noise coming from the shaft bearings, as the child
Waited in vain for the blowing of a whistle, the ceasing of
The petrol bombs of existence, “Are we there? When will we get there?”

The bearded man stared in torn, conflictive silence. At 2010 feet
We heard the clanging machinery of hypocrisy, the public pronouncements of
Presidential spokesmen, and the ice forge of contempt.
“All of it, every bit of it, is nothing more than a teleological train of progression,”
Averred the passenger who had finished the bottle of wine and opened another.
At 2370 feet there appeared a diseased, phlegmatic wasteland
Of broken necks, broken parodies, and electronic voting machines,

And at 2500 feet we felt the winds of non-change and the superlatives
Of greed, the force of inaction and the inaction of necessity. “Trust me, I
Know what I’m talking about,” said the passenger just before passing out, the bottle

Slipping from his hand. At 2700 feet, we encountered the full, existential
Jewish state and its Jabotinskyish orgasms of blood—and at 2790 feet
We came upon the Talmud, languishing in flea-infested side curls,
Palming off the pornography of the Chosen, mishnahs of malevolence—sitz im leben—
“Why did you lead us here?” asked the child. “Were you misguided?
Did you not care?” By way of reply, the bearded man
Removed from his coat a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol,

Adroitly pointed the barrel to his head, and squeezed the trigger. He slumped.
Out of his pocket rolled a mango, as the child ruminated in silence.
“Further!” snarled the captain. “I want this vessel down further!”

At 2850 feet we saw the unraveling but never-ending clew of false flags
Leaked memos, and secret kill lists, and just before dropping to 3000 feet
We heard the whine of the drone, the sound of explosions, and the last
Scream from the lips of a 16-year-old boy—as again the child wailed,
Have we reached bottom yet?
Have we reached bottom yet?
Have we reached bottom yet?

I have thus, most Holy One, spoken of these cyclic explosions,
The thunder of the theraphosidae and the falderal of this fallen age.
Awaken now all pleasant strains, and let sacred hymns flow forth.

By Richard Edmondson

13 thoughts on “Have We Hit Bottom Yet?

  1. Re: Have We Hit Bottom Yet.

    Great poem, Richard. If I have to read each line (at least) twice, I know I have encountered profundity. In one succinct poem you’ve more than gracefully encapsulated all my 782 Blog posts from the past years….

    • That’s very kind of you, greencroww. Not everybody is a fan of poetry. I’ve had a love for it for a good portion of my life, though.

  2. You’re welcome.

    I’ve only published one poem on my blog so far. Here it is, inspired by Eagles musician Glen Frey’s guitar solo, “I Dreamed There Was No War”

    I Dreamed There Was No War

    I dreamed there was no war
    On lands far from our shore
    Their children grew to live and love
    No bombs rained down from up above

    I dreamed we stayed at home
    Just caring for our own
    Fools on the hill were forbidden to kill
    And bankers were turned to stone

    I dreamed we learned to see
    That Truth will make us free
    Blind Justice ruled forevermore
    …I dreamed there was no war

    Here is Glen Frey’s music

    • It’s a beautiful poem, greencroww, and actually if you listen to the music and say the words in your head as it’s playing they go together–almost as if they were the lyrics to the song. Very nice! Where is your blog?

  3. Thank you for a journey into the depths of humankind’s depravity and time-after-time failure to be introspective and apply some vision as to how today’s decisions might come back to haunt tomorrow’s agenda. In trying for a bit of constructive criticism, I’ll note only that current events on the Korean Peninsula have caused me to become more aware of the history of the1950-53 War and its horrific impacts on the Korean people and their land. I’d include a mention of in the next-revised version of your poem….unless we hit bottom before you find the opportunity!

    • It’s interesting that you mention that, Robert. Just yesterday I came across this interview that gets into a lot of that history:

  4. Wonderful poem Richard, thank you!
    Wanted to share something with everyone here….
    Should we say “People Get Ready”

  5. Great poem, Richard. I think as long as we can still ask that question we are still falling. When and if we will hit rock bottom we will no longer know or care.

  6. Pingback: Have We Hit Bottom Yet? | Peter Cooney Enabler

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