On the Protesters Filled With Hate

By Bruce Dale Wise

And while American airports were filled with screaming hate,
Chief Petty Officer Will “Ryan” Owens met his fate,
caught in a raid against Al-Qaida’s force in Yemen’s love.
Who gives a damn for him who gave the last full measure of
devotion to his country, fighting those Islamic cells,
who out of earthly paradise keep striving to make hell.
Thanks for the righteous people who protest in safety’s screen,
who do not give a damn for those who fight to keep them free.
Chief Petty Officer Will “Ryan” Owens met his fate,
while thousands of Americans protest in screaming hate.


The Milky Way

By I. E. Sbace Weruld

The Milky Way is being pushed across the Universe,
according to new research, by a large and (unseen) force.
Dipole Repeller, as it seems, is shoving us along,
amidst Laniakea Supercluster’s star-thick throng.
The Milky Way is moving now fast from sparse, empty space
toward those more crowded regions of the cosmic interface.
Brent Tully, at the Honolulu Astro Institute,
compared this to a giant tug-of-war of starry brutes;
more star-chunks at one end will cause the flow to come to them,
and cause the flow to go away from weak-chumps in this Gym.


Bruce Dale Wise is a poet living in Washington State who often writes under anagrammatic pseudonyms.

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11 Responses

  1. Jonathan Simkins

    “On The Protestors Filled With Hate” is one of the most offensive poems I’ve ever read, as far as I can remember. It asserts that Americans protesting a refugee and travel ban at airports “do not give a damn for those who fight to keep them free.” This is factually incorrect, demonstrably false. Many of the protestors do indeed give a damn about those who fight to keep us free. I’m at a loss to understand why such a poem has been published in an online literary journal.

    • Andrew Brooks

      You’re absolutely right. How does offing an eight-year-old girl who’s also an American citizen, along with other civilians (not Americans, so not even counted) keep anyone free?

      • Bruce Dale Wise

        Yes, Andrew, and there were over twenty civilian deaths too. What is so frustrating is the number of civilians killed by both the terrorists (who target civilians) and the fighters against terrorism who usually unintentionally still kill some. Why would Al Qaeda keep a little girl at a military death-planning compound? Since the beginning of this century (as in 9-11, when eight children, along with hundreds of others, who all had the promise of their lives ahead, were purposefully murdered by the terrorists) up to the present day, the number of children and civilians murdered is staggering. The cost of terrorism is horrible. I hope we have the will to stop such hatred. That is why I wrote the poem about Ryan Owens, who gave up his life to do so.

  2. Lew Icarus Bede

    I certainly would not say that Wise’s poem is a great poem, but it is a little more nuanced than Mr. Simkins might think it is. Here are just a few examples:

    1) it is riveted with irony, as for example, in its euphemisms “love,” “Thanks,” etc.;
    2) it is careful to note the “so-called” righteous people who do not give a damn—notice not all protesters—for those who keep them free”;
    3) it is echoic of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “the last full measure of devotion,” whose famous speech is a dedication to those who died in war;
    4) it neatly encapsulates the poem with its opening two lines, ending in the opposite order;
    5) it uses epistrophe in lines 1 and 10;
    6) it emphasizes the contrast between the heroic individual named and the chanting crowd.

    The question the poem seems to be asking indirectly is rather: Where are the poems and where is the emotion for Ryan Owens, an American who gave his life to fight the terrorists? One of the ironies, of course, is that Yemen is one of the nations the protesters are screaming about.

    I suppose one of the reasons such a poem could be published in an online literary journal is that the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America actually declares, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” one of the central themes of this poem, for is that not exactly what the protesters themselves are expressing?

    • Gemma Peters

      According to his bio above, Bruce Dale Wise “often writes under anagrammatic pseudonyms.” I note that this defense of Bruce Dale Wise’s poem is by Lew Icarus Bede. Hmmm. Interesting.

    • The Society

      Excellently said, Lew. Thank you to Bruce for the timely and insightful poetry! I do find the Milky Way one more earth moving… but alas, people like a bit of social verve.

  3. Wilbur Dee Case

    Of the two docupoems by Wise, the one I prefer is “The Milky Way,” which shows the contentious nature of the Universe in both a scientific and a humourous way. In addition, to exact references to a physicist, observatory, and astronomical names, there is the almost prosaic anaphora of lines 1 and 5 and techno-speak scattered throughout, such as “research,” “force,” and “cosmic interface.” And yet, despite that, the poem metaphorically describes the scientific situation, as if the Universe were a gym, and the astral plane containing participants in a high-school tug-of-war, with words and phrases, like “shove…brutes…chunks
    [and] weak chumps.” I also liked the alliterative phrases, like “Dipole Repeller” and “star-thick throng,” as well as the slant rhyme of “Universe” with the Cummingsesque “(unseen) force.” Of the two docupoems, it seems to, more effectively, have a greater distance in its tone and point of view.

    • Gemma Peters

      Wow, Wilbur Dee Case is a fan of Bruce Dale Wise, too–just like Lew Icarus Bede! No shortage of self-esteem in the Anagram Club, is there?

      • Gemma Peters

        Oh, my mistake–Wilbur Dee Case liked I. E. Sbace Weruld’s poem better than Bruce Dale Wise’s.

  4. Edwe Bleca Ruís

    Gemma, thank you for noting that particular nuance. Of course, Fernando Pessoa is the Modernist exemplar for creating heteronyms; but there have been many others, like Lope de Vega, who were earlier exponents. Ironically, there is sometimes more diversity in individuals than there is in mobs, as in a great poet, like William Shakespeare, where one can find a whole cast of differentiated characters.

  5. Ed "Bear" C. U. Lewis

    When President Trump gave his speech to Congress and spoke of the heroism of “Ryan” Owens, not all were enthusiastic in the ovation for Carryn Owens.


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