A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Monsanto still has problems
after the carnage caused
by Agent Orange.
People continue to decay.

Monsanto’s Roundup
has its problems, too.
It wipes out weeds,
some native plants as well.
The milkweed is a
good example.

In order to survive
the Monarch butterfly
needs the milkweed plant
but Roundup kills it.
This means
fewer Monarchs
in our gardens.

There’s no market
for dead Monarch parts
so corpses can’t be sold.
Soon they’re dust
and disappear.

But if we plant milkweed
in our gardens and
don’t use Roundup,
we’ll always have
the Monarch here.

RoundUp, the new Agent Orange

Why is RoundUp, the new Agent Orange, still available?

Fireworks after Vietnam

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Joe went to the mall yesterday
and found a big tent pitched
at the head of the drive.
Someone selling fireworks.
The sign said discounts
for all veterans.

Joe thought of his brother Bob
after his return from Vietnam,
a victim of Monsanto’s Agent Orange.
He would shake if he heard
sudden or violent noises.
He got rid of his guns and
never went hunting again.

Bob didn’t want rifles
shot over his body after he died,
an honor some veterans prefer.
His wife wanted the ceremony.
Joe cried when the volleys were fired.
He could feel his brother
shake inside the urn.

How did Dow Chemical/Monsanto Allow This to Happen?–Part 2

Because of “The Fog of Agent Orange” by Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, June, 2016:

Jeanne Stellman, professor emeritus of health policy and management at Columbia University: “….[C]hemical corporations and a large segment of the U.S. government” would prefer that health problems in Vietnam never be linked conclusively to Agent Orange. On the other hand, she says, “[T]he Vietnamese see just about every birth defect in their country as being caused by Agent Orange exposure. Both sides, however, are off base. Some birth defects in Vietnam are likely attributable to Agent Orange, but the degree to which that’s true now is not a question that science can answer. There still hasn’t been a definitive study.”

How did Dow Chemical/Monsanto Allow This to Happen?

from “The Fog of Agent Orange” by Charles Schmidt, Scientific American, June, 2016:

TCDD (one of the most dangerous components of Agent Orange) can reprogram epigenetic controls with consequences that might appear long after the chemical has been cleared from the body. “The effects don’t necessarily come at the time of exposure,” explains Michael Skinner, a biologist at Washington State University. “Instead the epigenome can be stuck in an altered state, with effects that can occur at anytime during your life.”

When Skinner gave pregnant rats high doses of TCDD, he found that the second and third generation offspring had elevated rates of ovarian and kidney disease and the fourth generation had lower sperm counts. Asked if these results were relevant to the experience of humans exposed to dioxin in Viet Nam, Skinner emphatically answered, “Yes.”

Dreaming the Death of Monsanto

A Poem by Richard D. Hartwell

I dream of Monsanto’s demise,
the roots of its board sucking poison,
the leaves of its stockholders shriveled,
the petals of its enslaved users fallen away;
I dream of the death of its corporate personhood.

I dream of a fertile land rinsed of madness,
void of sterile seeds planted for single-yield money,
absent the misted vapors rounding-up all but new monsters,
purged of the unknown heritage of genetically-modified crops,
and of some life finally filtered free by centuries of cycled water.

I wake shivering, cold sweat, the stench
of split-atoms, DDT, dioxin, eugenic death
fills my nostrils; and, as the fog of cultural memory lifts,
I recount the milestones of Monsanto’s greedy rise, points
In time this “person” could have, should have, been stopped.

Perhaps tonight I’ll dream of a time machine,
going back to stop the tyrants of recent history:
Hitlers and Stalins, Pol Pots and Monsantos;
relieving the world of planned genocides;
not a nightmare, but a pleasant dream –

a single-minded correction from
an American War survivor,
who, like a mini-Vietnam,
still shelters his blood,
Agent Orange-affected
unto the 4th generation.

Earthquake in the Yard

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

a Monsanto/Dow Legacy

He’s a vet from Vietnam
who won’t say much about
what happened over there
except to say his problem
began with Agent Orange,

the breathing problem he has
cutting grass, raking leaves
and shoveling snow,
the only work anyone
will hire him to do.

The money helps him live
on what the government
gives him but that’s not much
because it’s obvious
the man’s not living well.

Watching him mow grass
from an upstairs window
on a sultry day and have
him stop and cough so
many times, you want to
pay him not to mow but
know that won’t work.
The man can’t breathe
but he still has pride.

So you pay him well,
force him to take a tip
and wonder if some day
he’ll fall on his mower
or maybe on the grass
and won’t get up at all,
the earthquake coughing
being what it is,
ripping him apart.