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Posts Tagged ‘war’

WAR CAULDRON

Though they came back

They came back silent

And haunted are their eyes.

The ones cast into the cauldron of war,

An endless source of sorrows.

Silent from what they see.

Silent from what they have seen.

Silent lest the heart break again.

Silent lest the bones become dust

And the dust, the taste of death,

And death, not the worst of it,

And the worst of it, the endless lines,

Moving to the front to die.

Nothing learned, nothing gained.

The drum, the drum, the drum.

Eternal war feeds the cauldron

Dragged from the depths

Where it should have remained.

As if there were not enough sorrow

In this world already.

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INDWELLER (Gwyn ap Nydd)

Tell me the first thing.

.

The first thing is fear.

White, empty, formless, unknown.

That is the first thing.

It boils up in the fist of battle,

In the first and last breath,

The whimper of why,

The sigh of receding pain.

.

And it is alive still, this fear.

I am the white hedge of between.

Death, Winter, Hunter.

These, but not these.

.

In the far North

They say the gods that made creation

Were formed in the gap between things.

The first instant, the impulse, the breeze of doubt,

The white vertigo, the doubt.

What is?

What is this that is?

And is not me?

And who is,

And why?

.

My red-nosed hound that hunts

Is a hunter of reasons.

To know why.

My steeds, ever moving on,

Are clouds.

My purpose is unclear,

My definition is to be,

But not to be located,

Nor known, nor named.

Or do I yearn for that ever after?

To be fixed, and simply loved for that?

Like everything else with a place, a reason,

A name, a history, a cause, a story, a remembering.

.

Without the words, when the words are not enough,

The white mist descends and I am fear, utter and complete.

.

And the forgetting.

The breeze stirs the waters.

The deeps that cannot be measured,

Nor named, nor traversed, nor left behind, nor excluded.

Void, or Soul.

Senseless or beyond sense.

Named I will be diminished.

But diminished, I shall be known.

.

If there is something greater than this.

That is the hunt.

To sift through the clamour.

To contain all colour.

To return to the white empty fullness.

This cliff edge.

This between.

I dwell.

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Soulless

To come out from the sorrow with wings
(The wind rising deepening thick darkness)
To find song that sings continuance
(The rain flown miles burns cold)
To find a haven, a hammocked clarity
(No stars, nor shadow, nor moon tonight)
The long roads aching empty, dreary, full of tears
(Lightless, limp, dreams splintered, knowing not the way to try)

Over the hills, bleak white drift forces itself into crevice and bank.
A slow, tempered piano hangs notes and melody, not new, nor remembered.
It echoes so and brings some small pillow of ease.

Firelight flickers,
All sink sleepless into dream.
A small thing it is to fail,
to cease, to become unmattered.
(The street empty, the empty house,
The mind revolving. The heart of things,
A sudden distance).

—-

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AIRSTRIKE

i am man become tree become sky.
travelling north, grey bridges
vaulting green deep scars,
stitches across the stern uplands of heaven.
roaring waters rush thin and white night and day,
they pay no mind to their lifelong fall.

this winter comes thick and fast
with clear days and deep frost.
i sleep always now upon a bed of stars
dreaming of blank-eyed heroes
mouthing stumbled anthems.

our only hope for glory-
to pretend we have more than this.
though the gardens become wild and ragged,
our minds untended, left to doggedly roam
moss-covered, grass-cloaked ruins,
the words left us, handed down,
untranslateable sorrow.

for this do we make our art:
for the fluorescent eggs of time
hatching diaphanous things
in hopes of worthy, unreasonably beneficent gods,
who have already fed and will not slay us so quickly
but watch, drunken-eyed, indulgent.

histories scab over, but so itch we must scratch
and things will never heal as we would wish.
a bitter cold between dawn.
valley ghosts, the sweep of headlights
heading to cities.
one by one, things shall awake from sleep.

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SCRIBBLE RIVER

1
The trees bend low,
The hills, open, roar.
The world spins fast
On its way to war.
2
Drenched in
Their own silence.
The hills.
Made cool and
Winged to the sky.
3
Tongue numbed:
The eloquence
Of tumbled waters.
4
Wind harp in melancholy minor
Sweeps, weeps and fades
Across the roofs,
Through the forest.
5
A flint
Struck from verse.
Bright words
Fly splutter
In endless rain.
A breathing on the roof,
Laughter soft in the gutters.
To measure out a little time
Upon this place.
6
By here we wander
Sullied by reason
And the oldest of stories.
Chained and unchained,
Livers pecked-
Our own hungry ambition.
7
We, unbecoming all,
Scatter aimless,
True to undiscovered dream
And the whispers of the greedy dead.
8
Here they speak
One long river of words.
A thrush by the waterside
Cracks a snail on green grey rock.

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LLYM AWEL verse 5 Improvisations.

Ottid eiry, guin y cnes;
Nid a kedwir oè neges;
Oer llinneu, eu llyu heb tes.

“Falls the snow, a white covering;
Warriors shun their tasks.
Cold are the lakes, their colour without warmth.”

Each line ends with a long hissing sibilance, the fall of snow, the melt as cold hits warm. The slightly longer last line elaborates the terse imagery and is a lack, draining motion and warmth from the reader’s mind.
The description of ‘warriors’ could be ironic. How strong and brave are they really, who refuse to go out in the snow? Or, in another view, the snow can vanquish even the bold warrior with its implacable purpose.

So falls and falls the snow.
White covers all, all senses white.
No colour for the sight,
No sound nor note to the ear,
All feeling numbed, no warmth here for heart.

The stalwart shrink, the warriors shirk,
The brave turn away, tasks undone.
Huddled small to the fire, faces inward.

For the lakes stretch vast and cold.
Their colour is death and grey pallor,
A wan weight the white drift sinks to.
Extirpated, extinguished, cold on cold.

Drained is the heat of war,
We are rendered aimless,
Lost to thoughtless staring peace.
We fall to not doing,
A sin for man whose fuse
Runs short and hot.

Severed, spun back, reeled in.
Conquered by an easy drift
And silent fall –
A world unbudged,
Resolute in is.
A cold refusal.
A cold covering.

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