Agent Orange, see Defoliants


This poem needs some front loading. The prompt at NaPoWriMo today was to write an index poem. Yes, a poem from the index of a book. My piece uses almost every letter of the alphabet (no Q or X) in order. I used the index from a book called “Shooting War – Photography and the American Experience of Combat,” by Susan D. Moeller. Before you get to the end of the piece let me tell you who the Z is, as I looked him up in the book.

“The effect of Agent Orange . . . was dramatic; trees were stripped of leaves,” recalled Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr., commander of the American in-country naval forces, responsible for the spraying of Agent Orange around navy-patrolled waterways, “thick jungle growth was reduced to twigs, the ground was barren of grass.”   (p. 343 Moeller)

Agent Orange, see Defoliants

American soldiers:
fear and,
personal equipment of,
views of enemy among,

Atrocities :
by Americans,
by the enemy,
faked stories of,

Battle fatigue, see Casualties, psychiatric

among civilians,
guidelines on images of,

Dead Americans, images of,

Dead enemy, images of:
with American soldiers,
as piled bodies,
in posed photographs,

images of moment of,


Ethics, see Morality of war
Glory of war

Horrors of war:
depictions of,

Information, Journalists, Kodak camera

Life and death:
juxtaposition of images of,

Morality of war:
guerrilla tactics and,
killing of civilians and,
poison gas and,
shooting of prisoners and,
unconventional weapons and,

Napalm & Objectivity

addiction to war as motivation for,
compassion and,
sense of responsibility in,

Sounds & smells of battles
Trench warfare
“Urgent Fury”
Volunteer Weaponry

Yellow journalism:
images of the dead and,

Zumwalt, Elmo, Jr.

Agent Orange, see defoliants

Brenda Warren 2016


Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C.  4/16  –  bwarren


Baa, baa, Trump Sheep

Disregard facts
hold tight to your faith
that Donald will transform the world
with words that flower hate.

Baa, baa, Trump sheep
have you any soul?
No ma’am, no ma’am,
we sold it at the store
of bigotry and hatred
punch ‘em in the face
later on we’ll kill them
to further our disgrace.

Disregard facts
disseminate dreams
of a whitewashed world
the home of the free.

Free to be a racist,
proud to be seen
beating up the “other”
on our media screens.

Baa, baa, Trump sheep
have you any soul?
No ma’am, no ma’am,
we sold it at the store
of incendiary language
punch ‘em in the face
treat ‘em like an object
obstructing our race.

Practice smug abhorrence
present it to malign
anyone who interrupts
your hate-filled lies.
Disregard facts
let ignorance shine.

Baa, baa, Trump sheep
have you any soul?
No ma’am, no ma’am,
we sold it at the store.

Brenda Warren 2016


Visit The Sunday Whirl


The colonel twitched
bloodied to a pulp in media gutters
he longed for a bottle of water
sitting at a sidewalk café
looking always looking
anywhere he wanted
glasses dark
fear flickering in everyone
who knew who he was
as he thumped his fist
against the side of his crooked legacy
carved out in bloody revolts.

He tried to control
the viscous gurgle
filling up his throat
and died sounding
like a weak man vanishing
while cell phone cameras clicked.

Brenda Warren 2011
I wrote this piece from some words pulled from Mike Patrick’s poem, Singing on Murkle. While the gory ending certainly evokes the spirit of the season, it didn’t come out as a Halloween poem. It is what it is.

I used one of the 12 words this week in the title. To see more pieces comprised of words from Mike’s poem, visit The Sunday Whirl.