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The Crusaders' Keep

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Message Vi Ransel

The Crusaders' Keep

The view
from the Crusaders' keep
over the parapets of the palace
of Saddam Hussein
is the view from the Green Zone.
There is no relief
from oppressive isolation.
No daylight inside the darkness.
Castles doom those who built them
to live in a perpetual prison peeking
through embrasures in the perimeter wall.

Crusaders maintained control
much like Marines and the 82nd Airborne,
venturing forth only to scutttle
from one heavily fortified zone to another,
cut off from the land and people they occupied,
squeezed into fortresses of their own aggression.

Under constant attack
Crusaders' dreams were dashed
as they lived in fear behind stone defenses
no less impregnable than steel and concrete
to an insurgency religiously dedicated to their demise.

Just as the arrival of the Third Crusade in 1191
added to latent discontent, the United States
has created an incubator for breeding assassins.
And while Afghanistan and Iraq smolder in ruins,
their occupiers remain imprisoned
behind the steel and concrete mountains
of the Crusaders' keep.


"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by the superiority in applying organized violence.  Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
                                          - Samuel R. Huntington


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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).
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