HomePoetryDo Drones Dream Of Electric War Crimes?

Do Drones Dream Of Electric War Crimes?

They strip the earth of minerals
to fill the skies with metal birds.

Minerals drop explosive minerals
onto organic matter with faces and feelings,
and eyes are ripped from heads
and fingers are ripped from hands
and limbs are ripped from torsos
and insides are ripped outside
from bodies once cuddled and breastfed by mothers
to splash upon the cold concrete
and expire beneath the stars
of a bemused universe
and return to their base elements.

The flying mineral machines cruise on
without looking back.

And the news man says,
“Breaking story, Jibby Jorpson love triangle?!?
Also, this common household product will melt your children
because you’re a bad parent
who couldn’t sit through one little commercial break.
But first: is this baby orangutan a transsexual?
Find out why outrage addicts are outraged
after these important advertisements from Northrop Grumman.”

And the stars say,
“We are more ancient than you can fathom
and more distant than you can comprehend,
yet we are made of the same matter,
and we rejoice in your part in this dance,
and as your elements return to the swirling cosmos
we love you more than you can possibly imagine.”

And the mothers say,
Why, why, why, why, why?
Why are his insides now on the outside
of the body I once cuddled and breastfed?
Why did explosives fall from the sky
from a bird made of minerals dug from the living earth?
Where are his arms?
Where is his skin?
I need it so I can kiss him
and get him ready for school.”

And the mineral machines say nothing
as their numbers grow until they fill the sky
so that nobody can see the stars anymore,
and we all forget where we came from,
and the Bank Boys finally look up and say,
“There, that’s much better.”

And the living earth accepts all returners
as they burst in ever increasing numbers
beneath the circling metal birds
of a blackened sky
beneath unseen stars
who watch and wonder
if we’ll ever remember
where we came from.







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Latest comments

  • Great poem, Caitlin. Read Drone Theory by Gregoire Chamayou. Would always recommend it.

  • hmmm, tried to share it on fb. not possible. more censoring of your work, perhaps?

  • Astoundingly precise.

  • so beautiful, and so terrible… we love you Caitlin, please stay strong for us, and take care

  • This is one of the best and most terrible poems I have ever read. I am crying. Thank you!

  • Love your poetry!

  • Love your work and your dedication Caitlan. Look after yourself

  • How do I switch on the lights again?

  • Thanks Caitlin.

  • Earlier this week I left the supermarket with my bag of groceries and went to the bus stop. There was a young United States Marine there, in full uniform, with a table all laid out with nice looking pamphlets extolling military service. The local young high school teenagers nearby were not interested. Some of the teenage girls made fun of him so he packed up and left before the bus arrived. These kids may not be getting proper upbringing and not getting proper schooling; but at least they are aware that the United States Military is not composed of ” the good guys “! Great Prose, Ms Johnstone!

  • I don’t know Poetry from Prose Caitlin, I struggle with the different forms of music appreciation from Classical to Jazz.
    What I do know is that this cherished Planet we inhabit is in a Red Zone.
    I’m older so I’ve mentally prepared myself for a bright flash and silence…
    They Strip the Earth of Minerals says it all.

  • Can it be any more poignant than this? Or any more tragic?
    Thanks Caitlin.

  • and it’s one, two, three
    what are we fighting for ??
    don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn
    next stop is the war in Iran
    and it’s five, six, seven
    open up the pearly gates
    we don’t have time to wonder why
    whoopee, we’re all gonna die

  • Fascinating. I’ve been reading through the works of Phillip K. Dick, and I just started the one about electric sheep! I love coincidences! 🙂

  • Love this

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