Tag Archives: war

Camouflage

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Camouflage

A man is bending his wife—
melding their shadows with the green forest.
They do not listen
to the nearby cannon’s roar––
will not imagine
that their life together,
so new,
might
not
stretch
into
the
future.

When he looks at his pocket watch,
someday children
ringing a well-stocked table
vanish in
her imagination.

He lifts his musket to his shoulder,
trying to believe

in a future
and in it,
this memory:

two shadows
joined as one,
invisible against
the forest wall.

Prompt words today are green, bend, shadow, cannon and memories.

Conspiring with the Enemy

Photo thanks to Nik on Unsplash. Used with permission.

Conspiring with the Enemy

Accoutered best for sabotage, they peer over the ridge,
intent now on the enemy crossing o’er the bridge.
All of their stealth and camouflage is not, at last, in vain.
Each inch they push their foes back is another inch they gain.
They’ve learned that cynicism of war as friend becomes their foe.
Each success they win will be another’s loss and woe.
His battleground littered with the corpses, G.I. Joe
now wanders off the killing field, choosing where next to go.
War is not Hell for those who are just playing at the game.
As war games end, the dead arise, as do the halt and lame.
Off to a game of baseball, the conquered and the winners
play together all day long until called to their dinners.
Children could teach their fathers that enemy can be friend.
Oh that their fathers felt the same and war was at an end.

The prompt words today are sabotage, cynic, vain, accouter and friend.

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.

Blind Misfortune

DSC08409Mixed Media collage “Macho” by Judy Dykstra-Brown, jdbphoto


Blind Misfortune

What you blindly get into
in youth can be the end of you.
Those days of passion, counting coup
are never risked when days are few.
The shorter our remaining years,
the greater seem to be our fears.
Thus, old men send the young to war,
forgetting what life’s really for.

They forget love’s throb and ache
and living just for living’s sake––
that need to feel adventure’s thrust––
the drive to do what’s fair and just.
Once passion ebbs, the quest for gold
drives these men turned crass and old.
They give libido other names
as they turn to other games.

Warheads coming now erect,
it seems a waste not to connect
them to their targets, so far away.
It’s only strangers who will pay.
All those enemies of mind,
with no thought of age or kind:
mothers and children meet their ends
and old men never make amends.

They send their own youth off to war
because this is what they’re for.
And young men taught by fantasy
on football field or on TV
are fodder for the greed of those
billionaires in evening clothes.
So the young men blindly go
for reasons that they barely know.

The WordPress prompt word today is blindly.

Big, Big World: WP Daily Prompt, Nov 5, 2016

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Big, Big World

Remember when your world was new
how in the world surrounding you
everything seemed bigger then?
It often seems that way again
when we see things nostalgically,
for memory boosts them mightily.
Our mother’s lap or father’s knee
becomes a world–a rolling sea
as we remember rocking there—
a child traveling in their care.

The rooms of childhood were immense,
and all the traumas more intense.
Curtailed play and spilled ice creams
were tragedies expressed by screams.
Time stretched out like a highway then,
however short time might have been
for parents, who saw us grow up quickly.
Time surrounded us more thickly.

The days of summer passed so slow
from sunrise up to candle glow.
Voices echoed in failing light
as we took that last long flight
down the road from England’s hill.
It seemed to last for hours until
we reached the bottom and pedaled home
under that vast dimming dome
that soon the starlight would fill in
until the slow sun rose again.

The night was darker and longer then,
as we contemplated sin
that our prayers brought to mind,
and that inevitably would wind
into our dreams to swell and swell
until they became a hell—
our terrors spreading in the night
until our moms turned on the light,
still maintaining they weren’t there at all
as they followed her back down the hall.

All things were large when we were small–
those tiny cuts, that minor fall.
A childish spat heartbreaking when
you could have been where they were then
but couldn’t because you’d had a fight.
and they were wrong and you were right!

And though  rage hadn’t lasted long,
they had to say that they were wrong!
And so you sobbed and fussed and pouted,
while outside, the others shouted
gleefully from swings and slide.
The pain more than you could abide.

When we were eight or six or three,
the whole world was hyperbole.
And now that we are fully grown,
living free and on our own,
hopefully we’ve learned to season
ire with pardon, dreams with reason.
And before it all blows up,
let us hope the world grows up!

The prompt today is “hyperbole

Midnight Swim Philosophy

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Midnight Swim Philosophy

I was in the still night, empty of stars,
safe behind walls, secure behind bars.
Floating in safety. No threat in my life.
Treading warm water. No pressure, no strife.
Lucky old me. Why do I rate?
Is it my choices, or simply fate?
It may be both, but still I can’t see
why all this luck is centered on me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for trouble
to come break me out of my shiny safe bubble.
I just need to remember once in a while
that such a life isn’t the rank and file.
The world is war-sick, but still they don’t stop.
The bankers will have them fight ‘til they drop.
Women in cages, children in chains.
My perfect night song has sadder refrains.

 

It may not be clear to others what this poem has to do with volunteering, but it is clear to me in my own life.

Millions

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Arms “Race”

Millions of planets go spinning around
out of our sight and making no sound.
Because we don’t see them, are they not there?
And if we do not see them, have we a care
of what lies upon them or what it’s all for?
Is the rest of the universe simply a snore?

We are so taken by the mess of our world
that we keep forgetting that we’re merely curled
like a fist of small planets thoughtlessly cast
into a corner of a system so vast
that we’re barely noticed in the scale of it all.
It is not so important, our spinning blue ball

as we all make it out to be, fussing and feuding,
warring and hating and bombing and shooting.
Like fleas on an elephant, thinking their bite
reveals such a showing of power and might,
our planet could vanish like that, in a puff,
and truly, the world would have planets enough.

Like millions of tiny balls spinning in space,
we’re in no competition. It’s really no race.
It’s nobody’s loss and nobody’s win.
We always return to the place we begin.
So put away guns and machetes and knives
and let’s simply live out our miniature lives.

The prompt word today is “Millions.”