Monday, April 9, 2018

Day 9

The prompt I am working with today is to use the word battle as part of a phrase for the poem's title.

Since my childhood, have had an interest in the history of Canada's military.  Chalk it up to hearing my father's friends share first-hand recollections of their experiences during WWII when they came over to socialize.  Of course, these were the stories that came out after a few drinks, and long after I had been sent off to bed for the night...

I'm planning a trip to England this summer, and hope to find the time and opportunity to cross the Channel to France to visit some of the historical sites where Canadian troops fought for our freedom.



Battle Scars

Whose gifts are those?
Where neither thorn nor rose,
yet poppies grow?

Oh!  These foreign shores
where dying moans
swept through the yews
that mark now sacred soil.

Whose lives were these?
Laid still and silent now
below the loam,
Earth’s dignity
to cover up this shame.

For we have sent them here.
Concentric thought, our
resurrected vision must endure
to fight and die and rise  again,
and face the foe anew.

Not until the land lies bleak
and barren beneath the pummel
of the cannon,
when cries have faded
in the twilight
of our collective past,

shall we receive their gift.



A second poem based on today's prompt.  This one, perhaps a variant rehashing of my divorce?  Not really, but the driving emotions I've tried to convey express something relevant to me. 

Battlefield

They had been in love
once, married
as childhood sweethearts,
had children of their own.

But things turned sour
when she discovered his
affair with her
best friend

and war broke out.

The children were the first
casualties of battle, taken
prisoner and held hostage
as endless—relentless—rounds
of negotiations failed to
reach a viable conclusion.

By default, he had to win
despite the cost of heavy
combat on the domestic front. 
He could not see his
money supporting
a house he did not live in,
children he did not
care to see that often.

In defense, she employed
guerrilla tactics suggested
by her lawyer,
engaging rueful conversation
to undermine his reputation,
while on her face
her age began to show.

And, in the end, they both took
precisely what they’d wanted
from each other:
His head on a platter.
Her heart crushed beneath
the heel of his boot.
but, surprisingly found
no pleasure in the trophies
they’d extracted.

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