Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Spider's Web

I spent a lot of time in the Middle East in the 1980’s. I was president of a company that had a joint venture in Saudi Arabia. We did the operation and maintenance for 26 airports and some other military facilities. I also spent some time in Iran.
In the 1960’s I was deployed on a destroyer that visited several places in the same area. I wrote the poem “Entering the Gulf” (Daydreams, 2004) based on an actual experience on our ship, but I used that encounter as a metaphor for the larger issues that I found there in my later years.
I chose a picture to accompany the poem in Daydreams of a spider weaving an intricate web. The caption beneath it read “The Middle East is what meets the eye and much more. A giant web that seems to ensnare us all”.
We have recently been ensnared there three times. As a nation we seem to have no coherent strategy and no real understanding of the culture and the people there. We make the same mistakes over and over and hope the results will be different. I hope we will be smart enough not to get ensnared in this web again. Spiders may seem small, but if we keep flailing around in their webs, we may find that their bites can lead to deadly consequences.
Glenn K. Currie
                                                   Entering the Gulf 
The ocean’s surface boiled,
Alive with red sea snakes,
Wildly striking out at
The churning of our wake.
The foam grew thick with blood,
Welling up from below,
Hell’s gates broken open,
Releasing venom’s flow.
These serpents seemed to guard
The entrance to this sea,
Warning those who pass here,
“This blood will flow from thee”.
Suddenly they were gone,
The Persian Gulf lay dead,
Silence like a gunshot,
So quick the vision shed.
The quiet like a veil,
Drawn o’er the Earth and sky,
An eerie, empty mask,
Concealing angry eyes.
The land then came in view,
It’s rage burning the air,
Desert sands spewing flames,
Black blood flowing everywhere.
Copyright Glenn K. Currie 2004