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Below are poems written by poet Ruben O.. Click the Next or Previous links below the poem to navigate between poems. Remember, Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth. Thank you.

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Innocents of All

     Let's retro walk decades to the sun
     dried affiches—its thick finger at us— 
     calling up: we want you. When wars began

     in guttural tongues and used to wait.
     It seems we've been trusting for so long 
     in posters—since the antennae, now pixels— 

     We-want-yous in circular ritual
     a scheme of half-naked excuses 
     maximizing                       fear: 

     strings pulled to upset puppets 
     who run to slap bumper stickers 
     who, hand over heart, shake pom-poms or flags
     innocents of all. We seal clap while swallow 
     blurred chimeras, opportune abysses 
     abstract words circling up above our minds

     in continence. We lie 
     down on concentric lies,
     stretch our legs, pretend freedom, and live the same

     day twice. Inside us: trapped in our flesh,
     implanted wars distend, throb, march on
     for the salt, for the sand, for the sake

     of our Asian fetich. How many sequels?
     Those masks we wore weren't ours.
     I think I saw a pregnant nun—in her habit

     of exhorting us 
     as voters, tax-payers, heroes. No matter
     what our side has been picked for us. 

     Above ground, we belong below. Buried 
     beneath our uncritical support.
     Manufactured wars,
     from desks—behind them—cyclically reinvented.  
     Unocal, Enron, Halliburton wars.
     I won't feel less terrorized.

     Who would? Would you?
     Defined by corners
     rooms adjoin rooms of chronic echoes

     broadcast live.
     Sons return as heroes
     in complimentary caskets—as crude

     as it may sound—parts of them never do; or
     split in halves, lost somewhere in between,
     longing to be rescued—somehow.

     I walk still
     tangled in strings and stripes 
     I walk staring straight—into someday.

        E   Repetition
      V   Juxtaposition
     I   Double Entendre
      C   Parallelism
        E   Aliteration


Copyright © Ruben O.


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  1. Date: 2/9/2016 11:28:00 AM

    Philosophic gem. Congrats. You're like a pro.
  1. Date: 2/8/2016 9:49:00 AM

    soup mail for Mr O .... :D
  1. Date: 2/7/2016 5:16:00 PM

    "parts of them never do" struck me :(
  1. Date: 2/7/2016 5:02:00 PM

    some puppets of war go dancing no more, in their graves they do lie, they do lie :{
  1. Date: 2/5/2016 4:05:00 PM

    I'm happy to see someone agrees with the universe. Great POTW.
  1. Date: 2/4/2016 10:02:00 PM

    Pay you the ultimate comment, Ruben--my envy! You touch many of my issues today!
  1. Date: 2/4/2016 1:39:00 PM

    And Avant guard. Jim Horn
  1. Date: 2/4/2016 6:17:00 AM

    Tangled in strings and stripes. That says it al!!!. Puppets on a strip, we dance to their tune. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, RUBEN.
  1. Date: 2/3/2016 10:19:00 PM

    Hi Ruben....just been watching C-Span network here in USA regarding Flint Mich. Disaster....very clear....environmental racism is alive and prospering in my land of liberty....and the my friend, the explorer Will Steger told me recently in discussions involving climate change when he found an entire ice land mass had vanished he had previously studied (ice shelf B in Iceland) "Jimmy, all we can do is be aware and unite our voices"
  1. Date: 2/3/2016 7:58:00 PM

    Congratulations on poem of the Week, Sire , I see that it's finished. Powerful write :) !!!!
  1. Date: 2/3/2016 7:33:00 PM

    Passive resistance is the answer
  1. Date: 2/3/2016 5:44:00 PM

    Congratulations! This is amazing!
  1. Date: 2/3/2016 3:47:00 AM

    creative and good work work
  1. Date: 2/2/2016 9:46:00 PM

    Ruben, congratulations of POTW with this awesome and creative write, enjoy the honor ~
  1. Date: 2/2/2016 2:18:00 PM

    Congratulations, Ruben, not just for POTW, but because of the powerful and expressive words that you presented us with! "Manufactured" wars, political games and financial decisions that produce pain and dead heroes. How can we ever attain peace?! // paul
  1. Date: 2/1/2016 5:31:00 PM

    How is it I didn't see this before? All the adjectives have been used up, but I do believe this to be one of your finest! Without a doubt, one of the finest offerings about the futility of war, and those who pull strings for causes that the innocents may be blind to. Reminds me of the lines "While men grow florid in patriotic pride, forgetful that it is not they who die" !! This wowed me, Ruben !!!
  1. Date: 2/1/2016 10:36:00 AM

    Reading this sure gave me a whole lot more to chew (actually ruminate) on than liver. This is something I'd definitely be reading again. The scary thing here is of how we are like those metaphorical frogs in a pot that's being brought to a boil. There's a lot of truth with what you say here, and makes me wonder of the fate of future generations. One hopes that someday, those strings can be cut off.
  1. Date: 2/1/2016 8:52:00 AM

    Congrats on POTW! Well deserved!
  1. Date: 1/31/2016 5:09:00 PM

    Over commodification of life leads to its logically cynical commodification of death? This is both qualitatively deep and resonant with eloquently stark truth. Precise yet lovely. G O
  1. Date: 1/31/2016 2:51:00 PM

    The taint of war pervades those souls deepest who were intimately connected with it... I feel the poets plea... And it touches humanity in toto but most are unaware... This poem may help to shed light on that truth. Great poem. Thanks.
  1. Date: 1/31/2016 2:41:00 PM

    Love the first line...And what follows is exciting to the very end..Way to end a poem
  1. Date: 1/31/2016 12:44:00 PM

    Your words always have a finger on the pulse of truth. The way you have listed your devices is worth a prize in itself. A 7 - I award thee, in my lightest negligee. Ha ha SuZ
  1. Date: 1/31/2016 5:46:00 AM

    Why don't you say how you really feel? Brilliant write. I quit listening to their BS years ago. You've got my heart beating so fast I can't think. Excellent job young man!!
  1. Date: 1/30/2016 10:19:00 PM

    A poem that begins with "Let's retro walk decades to the sun-dried affiches — its thick finger at us" promises a great read and I'm not disappointed. A powerful write that doesn't shy away from the ugly truth of selling everything to citizens under the guise of heroism and nobility of intention. Loved the word pairings - "blurred chimeras" is a novel way to verbalize a meaning behind a gripping image. Awesome write. 7 and fav! Kim
  1. Date: 1/30/2016 7:29:00 PM

    "Maximizing fear" is what is best for the business of war and those who profit from weapons of destruction...powerful write Ruben
  1. Date: 1/30/2016 11:57:00 AM

    they offer so many reasons for war....but what are we fighting it for the poor, the broken, the abused....if it is not then we will forever lose....because why fight our brothers for money, oil, or even land....He Died For us Out Of Love, why is that hard to understand....And To Love Simply Takes Compassion For Another Soul....That's The Greatest Wealth, worth more than a universe made of gold....awesome ruben....
  1. Date: 1/29/2016 2:25:00 PM

    Wow, you are the man for the job Mr. President, what truth, you nailed every single line in your delivery, amazing write.
  1. Date: 1/29/2016 12:56:00 PM

    how you pounce, punch and pierce my senses with this compelling work, ruben.. make love not propaganda!... wowie!..huggs
  1. Date: 1/27/2016 9:43:00 PM

    This is brilliant Ruben! I will bet I see it at the top of the winner's list. #7
  1. Date: 1/27/2016 8:21:00 PM

    fantastic writing. Just like the judge will like in this contest, Ruben. very intelligent writing.
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