My Little Voting Poem

The Blameless


I did not slay six hundred

thousand souls in fire and zeal

and ideology.  I did not

wage a war I could not win

and call it courtesy.  I did not

agree to separate the sinners

from the saints through smoke

and toil, for democracy and oil.


I do not have six hundred

thousand souls across the scale.

That weight belongs to other,

higher bred. I did not wage a war

I could not win—I turned my head.


The sand never clogged my lungs

or touched my face burned

with doubt and death.  The sirens didn’t

jolt me awake, alert and holding

my breath.  The shadows never haunted

me with promise of a spark.  The powder never

dirtied me from shots fired in the dark.


I was never called to duty,

asked to don my boots and arms.

I never had to kill, be killed,

lose hope.  I did not fight a war

I could not win—I did not vote.



I give permission for any person to reprint or distribute this poem in its entirity, unchanged, and bearing my name, for any reasonable purpose and with or without financial gain from said distribution or printing. 


Larina Warnock

My Birthday Wish: Please VOTE

Yesterday was my birthday.  Yay me.  I made it through another year and there are things I’m proud of in that year.  I am one of the lucky Americans that still has a job.  No health insurance.  But I have a job and that’s something.  We’ve been able to pay off some horrendous credit debt that developed because we were living in a red state (more on that another time–and for what it’s worth, I’ve lived in fanatical blue states, too and find them just as disagreeable).  Our children haven’t had any major catastrophes, thank goodness.  Only two of them have health insurance and their health insurance ties us down and does everything possible to keep us in the system (more on that another time).  I appreciated all of the well wishes of family and friends.  I’ve never been one to actually make a wish when I blew out the birthday candle.  But this year, as I follow all of the news coming from both sides, dig into my own research on both candidates–their positions, their histories, their ideas–I find myself becoming almost frantic.  And I ask myself: What were YOU doing during the 2000 election?  The 2004 election?

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And Another Important Web Site

Community organizers are angry–and they should be.  They’ve launched a blog talking about the vital work they do for ordinary, every day people.  Despite comments like Guiliani’s statement that Obama, as a community organizer, has never actually “led people in crisis,” community organizers sacrifice a great deal of their time, financial well-being, and endure tremendous amounts of emotional strain.  They lead people that do not believe they have any power or influence and empower them to take control of their lives.  They organize people that have very little in common and instill them with the passion they need to take on big government and big companies despite being ill or tackling tremendous financial and emotional obligations at home.  Take a look at the web site of the Community Organizers of America.  Keep at it, COA.  We need you.