Saturday, 16 August 2014

W-A-R, Crucible of Remembrance

Now and then, I receive emails from ordinary men and women who have lost loved ones in one or other of the world’s a war zones, and seek peace of mind.

Every death deserves a poem. Sadly, though, the Muse cannot keep pace with it all. As for peace of mind, there is little enough of that to be found in a war zone, whether it be in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza…wherever.

Let us give some thought, too, to the survivors of those life-or-death battles around the world in which involvement they may, rightly or wrongly, take pride, while I suspect they, like the rest of us, can but struggle to find words to justify it all. Oh, plenty of excuses under cover of various socio-cultural-religious-political camouflage, but justification in real (human) terms...?

We should also bear in mind, of course, that we are all but human beings trying to do what we think is right; there are casualties on both sides of any conflict, their loved ones, too, left behind to try and pick up the pieces of a fragmented life.

Tragically, while love may well nurture dreams that last forever, the world’s power-hungry vultures from various quasi-cultural/ religious/political backgrounds are inclined to do the same for its nightmares.


Blood on the grass, blood on the mud,
evening skies spilling the blood
of dying and wounded on sand, on sea,
sacrifices meant to set the world free

Blood on the hands helping comrades
to call out and challenge Hades;
blood on the pillow, blood on the sheet
where love’s worst nightmares meet

Blood on the ceiling, the lamp shade too,
bloodshot eyes still weeping for you;
bloody, the colour of your lips and warm,
defying nightmares to save a dream

Blood on the grass, blood on the sands,
rites of passages no one understands;
though it shed blood (in whatever name)
to a common humanity, the same dream

Copyright R. N. Taber 2010; 2014

No comments :