Sunday, September 18, 2005

From "Kubla Khan," by Coleridge:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !

Saigon? Baghdad?


Letters from children line the walls of many buildings, offices, trailers and tents. Last line of the one on the right reads, "Thank you for keeping the bad people away from us."

Fun on the base!

Getting that tan! Armband holds various ID cards, which are checked incessantly

One of many walls in Iraq with a few pot-shot holes

Fine print reads, "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again."

The British have multiple units here, co-located on our bases...

Some "differently-abled" Soviet-made tanks, now half-buried in a sand berm inside Camp Slayer