Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ditching the shampoo by the foghorn

I am camera shy
And would rather fly
I've no time for details
nor shampoo
My hair slicked back
will do the trick  

I spit on dirt
Ash and grit cakes my face
muddy as wet earth 
I'm a survivor
wanting not a hero's welcome
But peace to lay down its hands
gently like my old man did  

At night when harsh cold creeps
I look up and wonder
If there are false stars in sky
Where my compass lies
If there are bridges for the dead 
And another for the living  
In this land red-matted with war

The air is wild with fresh paint
of victory
Streetlights bustle with my cold beer 
as I wait for red-orange moon
to billow behind the fog-bleak clouds 
Despite what my comrades say
A moon is a moon to me-

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Thanks for the visit ~
Picture credit:   here


  1. Made me think of the soldiers that have come home. Particularly those in Vietnam that did not get a heroes welcome. But even for those welcomed home it has to feel awkward. Having spent months in the killing fields and seeing so many dead - to have people so happy. It has to mess with you. To just want some peace would make absolute sense to me.

  2. I find this touching.. a man who seem to have lost a lot, and yes very much like a war veteran.. to see nothing but the moon, to search the stars.. like many men who lost their direction.

  3. I read here that the life of a soldier is a rough one & also understand not wanting to be a hero but to have peace! Looking up at the sky I am sure they must feel the chilling loneliness and wonderings after their long days and longer nights!

  4. I love the way you take us from the mundane to the profound... how very true that a moon can only be just a moon when you have been through so much, seen sights you'll never erase from your mind. I like the tie-in to the hubbub over the recent blood moon as well, this puts so much in perspective.
    And deep down, I feel like we are all just looking for peace...

  5. Excellent title! I think we are all going to try harder on them now. I like how this man has gone through so much and what seems important to others is mundane or petty to him. The stylish hair do, the snappy clothing, the blood moon - when he has already seen too much blood - in nothing compared to his dream for peace.

  6. The image seems to be a WWII German soldier POW, but the message has a universal resonance. I got the 1945 vibe, but liked the transition to topical views, & of course the blood moon eclipse juxtaposed to the blood matting the landscapes of battle; Middle East, Africa--wherever. I like the lines /the air is wild with fresh paint/of victory/.

  7. I thought of the refugees emigrating from Syria..love the 'false stars in the sky' and 'where my compass lies"...' bridges for the dead'. Very moving, Grace.

  8. Awesome post, Grace ... PTSD is every where ... You put it into wonderful words ... love, cat.

  9. Such a beautifully touching poem Grace :)
    Powerful write.

    Lots of love,

  10. This really moved me. A triumph of a poem

  11. Soldiers never have it easy at all, what they go through sure leaves them no caring about the moon

  12. "the air is wild with fresh paint of victory." but he would rather look away. it cost too much? he just wants "peace to lay down its hands". i like this a lot.

  13. this tells a powerful story!

  14. This is really good, Grace. I imagine that he just wants it all to go away and not have to think another moment about where he just came from. Powerful in its feeling of resignation. Yes, a great title!

  15. Oh wars.. mute
    just mute..
    human.. that is all...

  16. I guess, war kills a lot of people in many ways even if they survive. You have brought out the horror, tragedy, stoicism, disdain, resignation, the soldier feels very well. A powerful indictment of the horrors of war. Great title too.

  17. I love the third stanza.

    The opening gave me a little panic attack, as I too am camera shy.

  18. You have captured what must be the feelings of a returning soldier - dropped from hell back into a population so unaware of suffering. I like "a moon is a moon to me." It is good some things stay the same.

  19. I really enjoyed this. As someone who has deployed a few times, it is true, most of don't want a hero's welcome. We just want to live our lives: see the moon, drink a beer as you so wonderfully wrote. I enjoyed the imagery your words painted for me. Great work!

  20. I love the voice you've taken here. Awesome.

  21. This was honest and uncompromising poetry. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  22. This is very reminiscent of some of my Dad's wartime poetry ... in other words, extremely well rendered and realistic.


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