Tag Archives: anti-war poem

Cease Fire

Cease Fire

It is not superstition, nor mere artifice
that leads mankind to finally declare an armistice.
It is the pure exhaustion that hating brings about.
Peace makes a more desirable flag for us to flout.
What euphoria the heart at peace must feel—
that silence now the guns are ceased, at last, for real.

 

Prompt words today are desirable, euphoric, superstition and artifice.

War Games

photo with permission by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

War Games

I’m not an island hopper, even in time of war.
Didn’t your mother tell you that’s what a basement’s for?
Wherever you may wander, wherever you may roam,
the best place to dodge missiles is right there in your home.

So reinforce your bunkers, store up delicious rations
so you can withstand war games of the leaders of our nations.
Naughty little spoiled boys who cannot learn to share
will not heed entreaties of those of us who care.

Even our democracy is ruled by a throne.
He gnaws away at joints of beef and throws us all a bone.
With no other agenda than playing at his game,
he does not know the difference between infamy and fame.

So build up your defenses. Reinforce your door,
for he and his rich cronies would profit from a war.
And all the brave young soldiers sweating in the sun?
He’ll take away their benefits after they are done.

Once the war is over, they’ll rebuild the world again
with their construction companies while they sit drinking gin.
Counting profits from the opportunities they’ve found,
they’ll enjoy their hillside mansions as we hunker underground.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/rdp-wednesday-island/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/05/29/fowc-with-fandango-war/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/your-daily-word-prompt-wherever-may-29-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/delicious/

Homosapiens and other Misnomers

 

Homosapiens and other Misnomers

Man was always venturesome. He wanted to be free
to examine that next hilltop, to sail upon the sea.
Adventure was his target for game or other food.
Always his first priority to feed his growing brood.
But  he fared more poorly in trying to connect
with a brand new culture or with a different sect.

He too often made a target of what might have been a friend.
We have evolved from all of this and warheads are the end
of this long long story, for it has been always so.
Conquering is swift and understanding is too slow.
Though we are Homo sapiens,  both root words are misnomers,
for we aren’t exactly sapient and for sure we aren’t stay-homers!

Words of the day are connect, target, venturesome and sapient. Here are links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/rdp-tuesday-connect/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/12/11/fowc-with-fandango-target/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/venturesome/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/your-daily-word-prompt-sapient-December-11-2018/

Rivulet


Rivulet

That tiny scarlet rivulet
descending from his bayonet
displays a horrid etiquette,
so minimal, it’s barely wet.

He lights himself a cigarette
with no remorse and no regret.
Overhead, he hears the jet
and speaks to it from his headset.

Mere days from now, a wife will set
out pieces of a wee layette
on the counter of her kitchenette
not having had the visit yet

that minutes later she will get.
Her country is much in her debt
for the end her husband met
caught in the enemy’s cruel net.

Her hopes and dreams they can’t reset
with military etiquette.
No lesser arms do to abet
tears falling in a rivulet.

The prompt today is rivulet.

Swallowing Truth

Three days ago, I started thinking of an old friend from 43 years and 8,000 miles ago, wondering if there was any way I could locate him. We had known each other in Africa, both having come to the U.S. when Ethiopia fell into its violent civil war, leaving our mutual friend (my lover and his friend since childhood) in Africa. He had worked diligently to get his friend to leave Africa and I had urged him to as well, but he had repeatedly refused to do so.

Half a country apart, we met only once after coming to the States and talked twice on the phone—the last time when he informed me of the assassination of our mutual friend about a year after I’d returned to the States. Since then, I’ve gone on to new loves and new lives, but I’ve written many times about those years in Africa, idealized my lover and imagined him to be the hero in death he’d always been to me in life.

Then, miraculously, two days ago (one day after I’d thought of trying to locate him myself and over forty years since I’d last talked to him on the phone) I received a message from my old friend asking me to friend him on Facebook and yesterday, we shared a two-hour phone call. Much of that phone call was taken up by his telling me the whole truth about my lover’s death in Africa forty-three  years ago.

“He loved you, Judy. He really loved you, and he was a different man with you. Perhaps if we had both stayed in Africa, his story would have turned out differently, but when we both left at once, he was lonely and looking for friends. They saw his charisma and charm and they drew him in. They gave him power.” This was when he told me the part of the story he had not told me so many years ago. This is when the truth of what happened after I left Africa came out. It has been a hard truth to swallow. My sister, who visited me in Africa and who knows more of that story than most, told me I should perhaps not talk to anyone else about what I had just revealed to her—to remain quiet for awhile and think this out for myself. Perhaps to write about it.

It is hard to write about such things without trivializing them, and I have tried for the past 24 hours to avoid doing so just as I’ve tried to avoid thinking about it. Neither plan seems to have worked. It was what I thought about all day, the last thing I thought about before I fell asleep, the first thing I thought about upon awakening when I saw today’s prompt, and it is what I’m thinking about now as I write the introduction to this poem. What do we do with old shattered memories that we’ve held in esteem for more than half our lives?  What do we do with the favorite photographs? How do we write about a love story turned into a horror story? I guess we do the best we can. This is my first attempt to deal with that whole truth.

Swallowing Truth

My life for now grown raw and hollow,
this bitter pill I cannot swallow.

Which path of memory to follow?

That handsome man, arms filled with flowers,
love-filled nights and fun-filled hours 
held fast in each others’ powers.

A small-town girl who lived through books,
twisting on romance’s hooks,

could not resist your charm and looks.

I could not guess the other side—
the violence your looks belied—
that truth that I must now abide.

New truths cast old beliefs asunder
as they gut and rip and plunder
those short years of joy and wonder.

Your truths are painful—sharply tined.
Miscast as hero in my mind,
you chose the other side, I find.

This is what your old friend said.
He said your power went to your head—
so many slaughtered the streets ran red.

How could the one who turned my heart
liquid from the very start
have torn so many lives apart?

These stories spun far in the past
have come together here, at last,
can’t be forgotten, the die is cast.

Beware the truths that you might seek.
Truth has a non-discerning beak
that rips asunder the frail and weak.

Be careful what you ask and do
in opening the past anew.
The truth you swallow may swallow you.

 

The prompt word today is swallow.

Big Toys


Big Toys

The act of creation is the greatest art.
You must think of the whole as you create each part.
Things put in conflict must balance as well,
or what was once heaven can turn into hell.

Every yin has its yang as dusk has its dawn.

Every awakening gives way to night’s yawn.
But why peace must be broken by violence and war
is something that tests one’s faith at its core.

When the world is unbalanced by warfare’s grim sin,

It seems perhaps nature’s starting over again
to create a world less given to baking
recipes of destruction that will be our unmaking.

These nuclear toys require such careful tending,

or it’s become clear we’ll create our own ending.
And next time perhaps our creator will find
a recipe that doesn’t include mankind. 

 

The prompt for day 19 of NaPoWriMo is to create a creation myth poem.