Mar 18, 2016

Black Ink Howl

March 10, 2003 found the world buzzing about the Unites States impending invasion of Iraq. Natalie Maines, of the Dixie Chicks, exercised her freedom of speech and spoke the following words about George W. Bush which dropped the group into the center of a volcano.
As Maines was introducing the Dixie Chicks’ latest single, “Travelin’ Soldier,” she said, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”

Black Ink Howl

A song sings erased notes

until memory forgives

what it can no longer feel.

She sang of soldiers with open heart,

but damned the head who rattled a battle cry.

A stream of prophetic is never welcome

unless it is filtered through an approved tongue.

Not ready to make nice is a black ink howl

that can never be silenced while living in an open wound.

©Susie Clevenger 2016


  1. Oh my goodness this is such a tender & emotive write. I was especially mesmerized with the opening lines.. such depth!
    Thank you so much for participating Susie :D

    Lots of love,

  2. "is a black ink howl
    that can never be silenced" you have some great, strong lines in this one.

  3. She obviously had been proven right. War is not the first option to resolve conflicts. Brave lady! Thanks for sharing Susie!


  4. Oh I remember this ...the big scandal world wide and all the criticism that was served up to the Dixie Chicks. I think they are great. Go Gals and the texan salute to all who opposed you: !

  5. First, let me say that I LOVE the title. Your poem touches all the right notes. Just like Natalie did... even if so many people back then (and sadly still today) believed that loyalty has anything to do with lying, or with selling the soul of one's opinions.

  6. I do remember that. Music, like poetry or art, is such an effective way to express ones beliefs. Works a lot better than violence as I see it.

  7. The title and closing lines are clear and true - we need not shout but rather sing in the knowledge that the right people will hear, understand and pass on the message we need to convey.. superb!

  8. Ah, I remember this hullabaloo and how sad I was at the backlash. I have a few of their CDs, being a fan of their music and also fully in agreement with their message.

  9. I think your poem is short and sweet. thanks for sharing.