When the eagle lands: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

“History with all her volumes vast, hath but one page.”   – Lord Byron


“Is it only in the army in the Philippines that Americans sometimes commit deeds that cause all other Americans to regret?” – Theodore Roosevelt


“As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.” – Clarence Darrow


Da Nang March 2002
Da Nang March 2002


When the eagle lands: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa


Despite luggage filled

With packages of raisins

Jars of peanut butter

And other edibles as

Directed by Huyen

I felt as the guest who

Shows up for the feast

Empty handed – on arrival

In Da Nang

Despite numerous trips to

Tijuana in my youth

This traveler was not

Prepared for the depth

Of poverty – starvation,

Suffering at every turn

It was easy to spot

Hidden behind toothless grins

The kind gentle hands

Welcoming this foreigner

Whose generous form was

Warmly and securely enveloped in

Skeletal arms – for those still able

Fragile, contorted bodies in

Wheel chairs or makeshift

Gurneys – smile with what is

Left to them – perhaps the light

Radiating from their eyes

Their parents exposed to

Agent orange – a gift

In their own best interest

Bestowed by America,

Monsanto and Dow Chemical

The same Monsanto producing

Between 70% – 100% of all

Genetically Modified seeds

Declare war on life itself

Flashbacks of mutilated bodies

Float into my periphery

As the chemical giants

Tally ill gotten gains – where

Will they strike next?




UNILEVER – make up to

90% of food at your

Neighborhood grocery retailer

Under the auspices of your

Elected officials – whose pockets

Deeply lined from corporate coffers

Sociopath ideology; no empathy, no remorse, no guilt, no shame

The masses complain and complain

Yet fail to alter consumptive practices

One month, we walked the streets

Of Da Nang – handing out sacks of

Rice and other foodstuff

Twelve years later

Yet I still feel like screaming

Alone into my pillow

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say




Author: Léa

A wanderer who has found home and herself in the South of France.

10 thoughts on “When the eagle lands: Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”

  1. lately i read an article that the cheese and ham on deep frozen pizzas has nothing to do with cheese and ham actually.. and that they breed chicken with six wings… ugh… made me feel sick… dunno how that whole food industry is going to develop and how it will cause harm… in the end it’s greed – not only of the producers but of each of us as well… tight poem… lots of food to chew… literally.. wishing you a wonderful christmas time

  2. Lea powerful words, we need to get back to the basics of human existence. Strip the layer off the top and go backwards to a time when food was real food. Sadly the human part about war has been there from the beginning and you would think as the world grows smaller and we connect and resonate with each other, we could stop the horrific acts of war.

    1. Kath, you are so right. Unfortunately the greed that abounds has other plans. War has always been about greed, domination and control. There is plenty of guilt to go around but those at the top have much to account for. Unfortunately, they are not held accountable and since that is so, they plunder on.

  3. Wow Lea, a hugely powerful poem and well tined too, I think because Christmas can be a very greedy time. This is a poem that shouldvmake us all sit up and not only listen, but act upon in whatever way we can.

    We (or at least I) often think “but what good will my little effort do”. When I start to think like this I often think of the old Bible story I heard in childhood about the widow’s mite. All the rich were giving their money for whatever cause and she just put in a single mite. But she gave the most as it was all she had. We mustn’t sit still. xxx

    1. You are so right Christine! Just look at those wee ones that come to your lap for a cuddle and a read. What are we leaving them?


      1. Absolutely! We owe them so much more than what we are going to be leaving them and their future generations with. xxx

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