A Bomber Pilot Speaks

POETRY FORMAT, 14 May 2018

David Krieger | Nuclear Age Peace Foundation – TRANSCEND Media Service

The stain of death spreads below,
but from my cockpit I see none of it.
I only drop bombs as I have been trained
and then, far above the haze and blood,
I speed toward home.

I am deaf to the screams of pain,
Do not smell the stench of slaughter.
I try not to think of children shivering
with fear or of those blown to pieces.

They tell me I am brave, but
how brave can it be to drop bombs
on a crowded city? I am a cog, only that,
a cog in a fancy machine of death.


David Krieger is founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment. Amongst several of his wide-spanning leadership endeavors in global peacebuilding, he is a founder and a member of the Global Council of Abolition 2000, councilor on the World Future Council, and is the chair of the Executive Committee of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility. Dr. Krieger is the author of many books and studies of peace in the Nuclear Age. He has written or edited more than 20 books and hundreds of articles and book chapters. He is a recipient of several awards and honors, including the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Peace Writing Award for Poetry (2010). He has a new collection of poems entitled Wake Up.  For more visit the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website: www.wagingpeace.org.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 May 2018.

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One Response to “A Bomber Pilot Speaks”

  1. Gary Corseri says:

    It is difficult to blend poetry and politics. Too many authors will harangue their audience. There is, of course, much to lament and despise about our modern “war-culture,” and the “war culture” of centuries. Unfortunately, many readers simply “tune out” and shut off the “noise” of anti-war declamations….

    But, fortunately, David Krieger strikes just the right note here. His protagonist is “removed” from the horror he wreaks, riding high above in his cockpit. He knows that whatever humanity he had has been lost and he is just a “cog” in a “fancy machine of death.”

    These are 13 “unlucky” lines that call us back to the realities of “children shivering/ with fear or of those blown to pieces.”

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