Prayers from Baghdad
March 6, 2009
BAGHDAD-Many years ago I stumbled upon a book that quickly became a favorite of mine. It contained a series of prayers written by the French poet Carmen Bernos De Gasztold and translated into English by Rumer Godden.
The book, "Prayers from the Ark", serves as a very clever and thoughtful look into the lives of the creatures on Noah's Ark. The prayers are insightful; prayed from the perspective of each of the animal-dog, camel, cat. Even Noah himself has a prayer. As an example, see a portion of Noah's Prayer:
What a menagerie!
Between Your downpour and these animal cries
one cannot hear oneself think!
The days are long, Lord.
All this water makes my heart sink.
When will the ground cease to rock under my feet'"
And one of my favorites, The Prayer of the Little Ducks, ends like this:
"...Protect all folk who quack
and everyone who knows how to swim. Amen."
I think you get the idea. Every prayer is unique, based upon the cares and joys of the different creatures who pray them. It is like a window into their soul.
With this in mind, I plan to offer in this column a series of poem-prayers in the style of "Prayers form the Ark". In these prayers I'll attempt to reveal the cares and joys of various members of a deployed military unit, in particular, Multi-National Division-Baghdad.
Here is the first installment of "Prayers from Baghdad".
Prayer of the G6
Lord, your network is awesome!
No wires, routers or nodes,
And Your comm's are never down!
My network, however, is unreliable,
And constantly under attack.
When high winds crash the LAN,
I am to blame.
If a Soldier uses a thumb drive
And shuts down all the ports,
Mine is the fault.
I am the workhorse, yet rarely appreciated.
I don't ask for much...
Or certificates of good luck.
Just keep my SIPR coming,
My VOIP lines strong,
And re-imaging on schedule,
That I may know a few seconds of peace.
Then, my prayers will soar unimpeded,
And I will gladly transmit...