Inspired by my mom's Vietnam War poem "The Big Birds, she's reading the poem. Sequenced MinimogueVA softsynth and Sample Tron strings and fuzzy/distorted Jazz Bass. Aggressive. Dramatic. Cold War. B-52's.
The Big Birds by Jane Piirto.
In 1970 the B-52's lined up at K.I. Sawyer Air
Force base in Gwynn, Michigan,
The Upper Peninsula, were painted sky blue on their bellies, camouflage green and brown on their backs,
so when they dropped napalm and bombs they couldn't be spotted from below or above.
These planes in the Mid-west called "birds" by their managers stood out in the blueberry forests on runways on the sand plains, behind chain links on the base.
These very planes flew to Vietnam through Guam and the Philippines, reminders to us remote
Northerners of what pilots and navigators who lived among us did at work. "We are just in a quiet, dark room" one of my students
a navigator wrote, "lights blink, gauges beep, all is quiet. It is very restful.
We get the orders from the ship, find the coordinates, fly in. We are so high, miles high we barely feel it when we lose the bombs. Same thing with napalm. If we bother to look down we see a flame as small as a match in a cave. We're home in a couple of days, I come to class".
After the killings at Kent State I went out with my daughter Denise, nine months old in a backpack,
My son Steven, six, at my side. My Another Mother For Peace necklace on. It says
"War is not healthy for children and other living things". Collecting donations
in the trailer court where we lived in Upper Michigan. Passing useless petitions to
stop the bombings in Cambodia. Two of my neighbors slammed the door. Others gave a dollar,
two, five, for me to send to somewhere to some central place, in an irrational hope our children would not be murdered.
when they go to college. So far it's worked.