Conflict Poem: ‘Phantom Noise’ by Brian Turner

Brian Turner’s new collection of poems ‘Phantom Noise’, inspired by the Iraq War and its aftermath, includes the title poem:

Phantom Noise

There is this ringing hum this
bullet-borne language ringing
shell-fall and static this late-night
ringing of threadwork and carpet ringing
hiss and steam this wingbeat
of rotors and tanks these broken
bodies ringing in steel humming these
voices of dust these years ringing 
rifles in Babylon rifles in Sumer
ringing these children their gravestones
and candy their limbs gone missing their
static-borne television their ringing
this eardrum this rifled symphonic this
ringing of midnight in oil and gunpowder this
brake-pad gone useless this muzzle-flash singing this
threading of bullets in muscle and bone this ringing
hum this ringing hum this 
ringing

See also his interesting piece in today’s New York Times of his experience as a US veteran of recently revisiting Baghdad and its checkpoints:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/checkpoints-a-u-s-veteran-in-baghdad/?ref=afternoonupdate&nl=afternoonupdate&emc=auab1

Here is Brian when he was a soldier in Mosul in 2004 and as he is today:

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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