Allowances Can Be Made

A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Monsanto, Dow and Oliver Jones

Oliver Jones, now gray and grizzled, has
cut the Miller’s lawn for years. A Vietnam vet,
a victim of Agent Orange, Oliver’s getting old,
almost as old as the Millers, his friends for years.

Recently he’s left ridges and tufts
in the lawn Mr. Miller’s eyes can’t see
but his wife has mentioned the problem.
After Oliver’s been paid with a good tip,

Mrs. Miller often rolls her wheelchair
over to the window and tells her husband
they should find someone else to cut the lawn,
someone who won’t leave ridges and tufts.

But the thing of it is, Oliver’s been leaving
ridges and tufts for at least five years,
long before Mr. Miller lost his sight and
Mrs. Miller was confined to a wheelchair.


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.”