Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weapons for War


Picture credit:   Colossal

Before war
is the war
                      of words

That burns our mind
That changes our faces to birds 
                      of darkness

Before air
convulses to
                      smoke

& steeps the tongue
with arid bitter
                      stones                    

Before space is a crypt
That strikes &
                      strikes

Until all the sky is fireball 
Until all the land is wasted ash

There is you & i
At opposite sides of
                      grain fields 

We hide snakes & poison 
under our cloaks 
                     
We tally hate & splintered bones 
And boast of treasures 
as if its our right
as if its our prize 

Under the wind-broken tree,
We put on our costume & war paint
choosing our weapons carefully

We create our theater & drama:
                       Sounds of men dying
                       slow
                       Sirens as the city rips to 
                       craters  
We did nothing to stave off
                       hate &
                       rumors of defense
We stood mute with 
                        no answers           
                        no resolutions

We are already at
                        war


Posted for:   D'verse Poets Pub - We are talking of war ~  Hosted by Gabriella ~

33 comments:

  1. Grace, this is a brilliant write. I so admire "changes our faces to birds of darkness", the snakes and poison under our cloaks. And no answers. "We are already at war." Fantastic writing!

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  2. Yes, before war, there had to be people already warring--Your powerful images make the build up to war seem so preventable.

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  3. War goes round and round and when there is none they make some.

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  4. So very true, Grace. All wars begin with words. And after words come the theater and drama...which could have been stopped, but was not.

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  5. The beginning of your poem made me think of what I sometimes said to some of my students. "If you use harsh and hateful words for little things, what are you going to use when you are really mad? Your fists?" It indeed all begins with words.

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  6. So much in your writing that rings so true.. it's the hate we feel inside that fuel the devastation.. the words and silence between humans.. they are the hammer and the anvil the forges the blade...

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  7. we create it....so true...and not an easy truth to swallow either....it starts with two people taking sides and being unwilling to meet int he middle....surely it starts with ideals...and devolves into a slugfest.....

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  8. Wonderful rhythm! And the words crept in, slowly, till I too realised we were at war - very ell wtitten.

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  9. "We tally hate & splintered bones
    And boast of treasures
    as if its our right
    as if its our prize "

    - so reminds me of the India-Pakistan relation, as it is today - hard to believe we were once the same nation.

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  10. I never thought war poetry is your thing - but you handled it so well, Grace.

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  11. Pacifists, peaceniks, conciensis objectors, milktoasts, cowards, bullies--we were socialized as boys to hate these punks, to relish our youth, our strong bodies, our country, our God, & waste no pity on those foolish enough to test our mettle or mess with our women. This prompt is strong beyond belief. Like your lines (loved the whole poem--one of your best) /we stood mute/no answers/no resolution/.

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  12. Love how the face, the dimensions of war keep shifting throughout this masterful write.

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  13. Yes, war begins in the heart of people. Hard to come to terms with that.

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  14. You're poetry is surreal and it brings a lot of fear in the thought of war and the experience that our past and present soldiers have to go through.


    Excellent writing my friend. :)

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  15. Well done piece. Love- "Under the wind-broken tree, / We put on our costume & war paint / choosing our weapons carefully"

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  16. There are no answers or resolutions . Great piece.

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  17. every charge is preceded by a whisper... ~

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  18. There is never a war of words and lies more memorable to me than the words of administration and obedient sheep of congress before the Iraq war.. truly it was 1984 then.. in what seemed like forever.. as the willing drones.. of humans no longer willed to be human.. to go against.. a tribe of anger....

    One would hope that with as much freedom of information as we have now.. that something as horrific will not happen again...

    at least not on our part....

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  19. Sentenced to die it was just the time and day to be determined. The sad thing was it could happen to either side depending on who was less lucky! Great word craft Grace!

    Hank

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  20. ... word is the second step ... thought is the first ... and emotion comes before that ... and after that as well ...

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  21. In the jungle there are peaceful people, far removed from the realities of the rest of the world...they know only peace, live peacefully....what paradise that must be.

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  22. how we forget those "before's".... war is a process

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  23. Fabulous images to show the build- up bravado. This is powerfully moving.

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  24. So true--wars start with words whether they be idealistic or antagonistic, true or false, they incite man to action. Surreal, disturbing write, Grace, very successful.

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  25. Yes, I agree, that war is starting with words, I'd say - with thoughts before the real one..

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  26. very intense piece. I think the short lines punctuate the intensity.

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  27. Marvelous writing Grace. Yes, we are already at war, with silent thoughts, then spoken words like daggers. You say this all so well here.

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  28. A really interesting movement from the birds to people--agh. I don't think we are already at war, but I hope we don't get there. Your tone increases the effect of the piece. Thanks. k.

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  29. I like the symbolism of hiding snakes and poisons under our coats.


    Born to Strife and Contention

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  30. truth about conflict so well expressed-'we create our theater and drama'

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  31. I am unaccustomed to your strident voice, and it carries through, true ~

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