There already was a Crimean War, of course, 1853-56
Ottoman empire propped up by England and France
from faltering stance of tottering old man who finally
collapsed in WWI axis of Germany and Austro-hungary
when those empires all went down but back in 1850’s
Crimean War there was as today a Baltic battleground
(just like today of Nordstrom attack) with Russian ships
bottled up in their ports besieged, protected by guns on
walls Russia was so humiliated by their defeat that they
undertook a massive program of industrial scale growth
that became the Revolution of 1917 and manufacturing
system that made the military might that tore the guts
right out of Hitler’s blitzkrieg so we’ve heard over and
over again and again about Chamberlain’s appeasement
at Munich and Hitler keeps on coming back as Nationalist
this and that, Ho Chi Minh or Saddam Hussein or Libya’s
Quadaffi justifying one war after another and then another
but no one ever looks back to the world crisis in year 1848
the year of the revolutions through to the 1870’s and the
Paris Commune and the whirlwind Franco-Prussian War
that changed everything when Germany and Italy became
nations instead of a pack of principalities and kingdoms
incapable of nation state militaries with dictators like, oh,
                        Mussolini and Hitler.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.