10-31-04, 07:16 PM #661
I wrote it while at work.
Queen of no king.
Copyrighted by the very sexy sargentlard
How oft she bore sanguine tears,
Nigh a trickle when the albatross flew
How oft the bell rang clandestine melancholy,
Nigh the screams, a shrieking few.
How oft she hummed the sirens hymns,
Nigh the letters lit ablaze: canvases of morose whims.
How oft the baited breath flows along the swaying willow,
How oft her anxious hands swam in the satin below.
The lady of the land weeps gently in her prayers.
The queen of no king rifes the ocean with stares.
The queen’s gaze steadfast evermore,
as the sanguine tears doth know
the king shall return nevermore.
11-02-04, 03:55 PM #662
ah, I had almost forgotten of this thread. oh well.. one I created while in shower this afternoon
the sun shall set
and the moon shall rise,
the moon shall set
and the sun shall rise.
the rain shall fall
and the rivers will flow,
the birds shall fly
and the winds will blow.
the dead shall crawl
deep under the ground,
and the flowers will grow
to the stars and the sky.
old gods shall go
and new ones will come,
but the life shall stay
atop of them all.
© Avatar 2004
Last edited by Avatar; 11-02-04 at 04:38 PM.
11-02-04, 05:30 PM #663Originally Posted by Avatar
11-02-04, 05:57 PM #664
And so one of my own too ...
There was a whip-tailed dragon
That liked to roam the land
Breathing fire from two nostrils
That flared and did expand
That dragon he was golden
A bright and shining star
From strange egg did he hatch
In a land that seem so far
The people they did see him
Many died as he flew by
But some men looked with anger
Saying "That dragon, he must die"
Those men picked up their shining swords
and sheathed them in their coats
The dragon saw the hearts of men
And vowed to slit their throats
The men were bold, the men were strong
And bravely they did fight
but when the first man hit the ground
The rest just stood in fright
The dragon sensing victory near
puffed up his golden wings
He bellowed "I am The Mighty One" ...
"I Am The King Of Kings"
The men looked down upon their friend
whose face was all but fried
The men looked up to see that beast
that mocked as their friend died
with swords unsheathed and hearts afire
they waited for that beast
that dragon saw the hearts of men
and grew hungrier for his feast
As the men stood upright bold as bold
the townsfolk did appear
and stood right by those braver men
those that had no fear
"Come on then" the people cried
"Come on and do your worst"
"For when youve gone and eaten us"
"What then will quench your thirst?"
"Devour us, Destroy Us"
"For we are not afraid"
"As long as were together"
"Our happiness is made"
Now logic was the dragon's thing
He could hear what they were saying
but then he spotted a tiny child
that looked like it was praying
The dragon boomed to those below
"So you say you are all one?"
"But what of that praying child"
"What has that bad child done?"
"Does she have no trust"
"In her father's love"
"The man with sword in hand?"
"She seems to have some other trust"
"In one that's not that man"
11-02-04, 06:12 PM #665
And another then
The Plea of A Child
I sit hear just listening
its all I can do
the adults speak nonsense
and I need a poo
i try not to wiggle
or shuffle or squeak
but any more time
and something will leak
I wish they would notice
the discomfort i feel
come on God
whats with this deal?
The adults are chatting
and laughing at me
its getting much worse
I now need a wee!
I shuffle, I wiggle
I fuss and I squirm
But Dad's seen me now
So now it's my turn
11-06-04, 03:32 AM #666
We'd found an old Boche dug-out, and he knew,
And gave us hell; for shell on frantic shell
Lit full on top, but never quite burst through.
Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime,
Kept slush waist-high and rising hour by hour,
And choked the steps too thick with clay to climb.
What murk of air remained stank old, and sour
With fumes from whizz-bangs, and the smell of men
Who'd lived there years, and left their curse in the den,
If not their corpses....There we herded from the blast
Of whizz-bangs, but one found our door at last,-
Buffeting eyes and breath, snuffing the candles,
And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping
And sploshing in the flood, deluging muck,
The sentry's body; then, his rifle, handles
Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck.
We dredged him up, for dead, until he whined,
'O sir- my eyes,-I'm blind,-I'm blind, -I'm blind.'
Coaxing, I held a flame against his lids
And said if he could see the least blurred light
He was not blind; in time they'd get all right.
'I can't,' he sobbed. Eyeballs, huge-bulged like squids',
Watch my dreams still, - yet I forgot him there
In posting Next for duty, and sending a scout
To beg a stretcher somewhere, and flound'ring about
To other posts under the shrieking air.
Those other wretches, how they bled and spewed,
And one who would have drowned himself for good,-
I try not to remember these things now.
Let Dread hark back for one word only: how,
Half-listening to that sentry's moans and jumps,
And the wild chattering of his broken teeth,
Renewed most horribly whenever crumps
Pummelled the roof and slogged the air beneath,-
Through the dense din, I say, we heard him shout
'I see your lights!' - But ours had long gone out.
11-06-04, 03:33 AM #667
Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us...
Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent...
Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the salient...
Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous,
But nothing happens.
Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,
Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.
Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles,
Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.
What are we doing here?
The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow...
We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.
Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army
Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of grey,
But nothing happens.
Sudden successive flights of bullets streak the silence.
Less deathly than the air that shudders black with snow,
With sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and renew;
We watch them wandering up and down the wind's nonchalance,
But nothing happens.
Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces-
We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow-dazed,
Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun-dozed,
Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses,
-Is it that we are dying?
Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk fires, glozed
With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there;
For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is theirs;
Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed,-
We turn back to our dying.
Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn;
Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit.
For God's invincible spring our love is made afraid;
Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born,
For love of God seems dying.
Tonight, this frost will fasten on this mud and us,
Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp.
The burying-party, picks and shovels in their shaking grasp,
Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice,
But nothing happens.
11-06-04, 03:34 AM #668
Not this week nor this month dare I lie down
In languour under lime trees or smooth smile.
Love must not kiss my face pale that is brown.
My lips, parting, shall drink space, mile by mile;
Strong meats be all my hunger; my renown
Be the clean beauty of speed and pride of style.
Cold winds encountered on the racing Down
Shall thrill my heated bareness; but awhile
None else may meet me till I wear my crown.
11-06-04, 03:34 AM #669
Around no fire the soldiers sleep to-night,
But lie a-wearied on the ice-bound field,
With cloaks wrapt round their sleeping forms, to shield
Them from the northern winds. Ere comes the light
Of morn brave men must arm, stern foes to fight.
The sentry stands, his limbs with cold congealed;
His head a-nod with sleep; he cannot yield,
Though sleep and snow in deadly force unite.
Amongst the sleepers lies the Boy awake,
And wide-eyed plans brave glories that transcend
The deeds of heroes dead; then dreams o'ertake
His tired-out brain, and lofty fancies blend
To one grand theme, and through all barriers break
To guard from hurt his faithiful sleeping friend.
11-06-04, 03:37 AM #670
Broken, bewildered by the long retreat
Across the stifling leagues of southern plain,
Across the scorching leagues of trampled grain,
Half-stunned, half-blinded, by the trudge of feet
And dusty smother of the August heat,
He dreamt of flowers in an English lane,
Of hedgerow flowers glistening after rain --
All-heal and willow-herb and meadow-sweet.
All-heal and willow-herb and meadow-sweet --
The innocent names kept up a cool refrain --
All-heal and willow-herb and meadow-sweet,
Chiming and tinkling in his aching brain,
Until he babbled like a child again --
"All-heal and willow-herb and meadow-sweet."
11-06-04, 03:37 AM #671
When first I saw you in the curious street
Like some platoon of soldier ghosts in grey,
My mad impulse was all to smite and slay,
To spit upon you -- tread you 'neath my feet.
But when I saw how each sad soul did greet
My gaze with no sign of defiant frown,
How from tired eyes looked spirits broken down,
How each face showed the pale flag of defeat,
And doubt, despair, and disillusionment,
And how were grievous wounds on many a head,
And on your garb red-faced was other red;
And how you stooped as men whose strength was spent,
I knew that we had suffered each as other,
And could have grasped your and and cried, "My brother!"
11-06-04, 03:38 AM #672
By all the glories of the day,
And the cool evening's benison:
By the last sunset touch that lay
Upon the hills when day was done:
By beauty lavishly outpoured,
And blessings carelessly received,
By all the days that I have lived,
Make me a soldier, Lord.
By all of all men's hopes and fears,
And all the wonders poets sing,
The laughter of unclouded years,
And every sad and lovely thing:
By the romantic ages stored
With high endeavour that was his,
By all his mad catastrophes,
Make me a man, O Lord.
I, that on my familiar hill
Saw with uncomprehending eyes
A hundred of Thy sunsets spill
Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
Must say good-bye to all of this: --
By all delights that I shall miss,
Help me to die, O Lord.
11-06-04, 06:22 AM #673
Between the Lines
When consciousness came back, he found he lay
Between the opposing fires, but could not tell
On which hand were his friends; and either way
For him to turn was chancy -- bullet and shell
Whistling and shrieking over him, as the glare
Of searchlights scoured the darkness to blind day.
He scrambled to his hands and knees ascare,
Dragging his wounded foot through puddled clay,
And tumbled in a hole a shell had scooped
At random in a turnip-field between
The unseen trenches where the foes lay cooped
Through that unending battle of unseen
Dead-locked, league-stretching armies; and quite spent
He rolled upon his back within the pit,
And lay secure, thinkng of all it meant --
His lying in that little hole, sore hit,
But living, while across the starry sky
Shrapnel and shell went screeching overhead --
Of all it meant that he, Tom Dodd, should lie
Among the Belgian turnips, while his bed . . .
If it were he, indeed, who'd climbed each night,
Fagged with the day's work, up the narrow stair,
And slipt his clothes off in the candle-light,
Too tired to fold them neatly in a chair
The way his mother'd taught him -- too dog-tired
After the long day's serving in the shop,
Inquiring what each customer required,
Politiely talking weather, fit to drop . . .
And now for fourteen days and nights, at least,
He hadn't had his clothes off, and had lain
In muddy trenches, napping like a beast
With one eye open, under sun and rain
And that unceasing hell-fire . . .
It was strange
How things turned out -- the changes! You'd just got
To take your luck in life, you couln't change
And so here he was lying shot
Who just six months ago had thought to spend
His days behind a counter. Still, perhaps . . .
And now, God only knew how he would end!
He'd like to know haw many of the chaps
Had won back to the trench alive, when he
Had fallen wounded and been left for dead,
If any! . . .
This was different, certainly,
From selling knots of tape and reels of thread
And knots of tape and reels of thread and knots
Of tape and reels of thread and knots of tape,
Day in, day out, and answering "Have you got" 's
And "Do you keep" 's till there seemed no escape
From everlasting serving in a shop,
Inquiring what each customer required,
Politely talking weather, fit to drop,
With swollen ankles, tired . . .
But he was tired
Now. Every bone was aching, and had ached
For fourteen days and nights in that wet trench --
Just duller when he slept than when he waked --
Crouching for shelter from the steady drench
Of shell and shrapnel . . .
That old trench, it seemed
Almost like home to him. He'd slept and fed
And sung and smoked in it, while shrapnel screamed
Harmless, at least, as far as he . . .
But Dick --
Dick hadn't found them harmless yesterday,
At breakfast, when he'd said he couldn't stick
Eating dry bread, and crawled out the back way,
And brought them butter in a lordly dish --
Butter enough for all, and held it high,
Yellow and fresh and clean as you would wish --
When plump upon the plate from out the sky
A shell fell bursting . . . Where the butter went,
God only knew! . . .
And Dick . . . He dared not think
Of what had come to Dick . . . or what it meant --
The shrieking and the whistling and the stink
He'd lived in fourteen days and nights. 'Twas luck
That he still lived . .. And queer how little then
He seemed to care that Dick . . . perhaps 'twas pluck
That hardened him -- a man among the men --
Perhaps . . . Yet, only think things out a bit,
And he was rabbit-livered, blue with funk!
And he'd liked Dick . . . and yet when Dick was hit,
He hadn't turned a hair. The meanest skunk
He should have thought would feel it when his mate
Was blown to smithereens -- Dick, proud as punch,
Grinning like sin, and holding up the plate --
But he had gone on munching his dry hunch,
Unwinking, will he swallowed the last crumb.
Perhaps 'twas just because he dared not let
His mind run upon Dick, who'd been his chum.
He dared not now, though he could not forget.
Dick took his luck. And, life or death, 'twas luck
From first to last; and you'd just got to trust
Your luck and grin. It wasn't so much pluck
As knowing that you'd got to, when needs must,
And better to die grinning . . .
Had fallen on the night. On either hand
The guns were quiet. Cool upon his brow
The quiet darkness brooded, as he scanned
The starry sky. He'd never seen before
So many stars. Although, of course, he'd known
That there were stars, somehow before the war
He'd never realised them -- so thick-sown,
Millions and millions. Serving in the shop,
Stars didn't count for much; and then at nights
Strolling the pavements, dull and fit to drop,
You didn't see much but the city lights.
He'd never in his life seen so much sky
As he'd seen this last fortnight. It was queer
The things war taught you. He'd a mind to try
To count the stars -- they shone so bright and clear.
One, two, three, four . . . Ah, God, but he was tired . . .
Five, six, seven, eight . . .
Yes, it was number eight.
And what was the next thing that she required?
(Too bad of customers to come so late,
At closing time!) Again within the shop
He handled knots of tape and reels of thread,
Politely talking weather, fit to drop . . .
When once again the whole sky overhead
Flared blind with searchlights, and the shriek of shell
And scream of shrapnel roused him. Drowsily
He stared about him, wondering. Then he fell
Into deep dreamless slumber.
. . . . . . . . . .
He could see
Two dark eyes peeping at him, ere he knew
He was awake, and it again was day --
An August morning, burning to clear blue.
The frightened rabbit scuttled . . .
A sound of firing . . . Up there, in the sky
Big dragon-flies hung hovering . . . Snowballs burst
About them . . . Flies and snowballs. With a cry
He crouched to watch the airmen pass -- the first
That he'd seen under fire. Lord, that was pluck --
Shells bursting all about them -- and what nerve!
They took their chance, and trusted to their luck
At such a dizzy height to dip and swerve,
Dodging the shell-fire . . .
Hell! but one was hit,
And tumbling like a pigeon, plump . . .
It righted, and then turned; and after it
The whole flock followed safe -- four, five, six, seven,
Yes, they were all there safely. They deserved,
Even if they were Germans . . . 'Twas no sin
To wish them luck. Think how that beggar swerved
Just in the nick of time!
He, too, must try
To win back to the lines, though, likely as not,
He'd take the wrong turn: but he couldn't lie
Forever in that hungry hole and rot,
He'd got to take his luck, to take his chance
Of being sniped by foes or friends. He'd be
With any luck in Germany or France
Or Kingdom-come, next morning . . .
The blazing day burnt over him, shot and shell
Whistling and whining ceaselessly. But light
Faded at last, and as the darkness fell
He rose, and crawled away into the night.
11-06-04, 06:23 AM #674
The Dawn Patrol
Sometimes I fly at dawn above the sea,
Where, underneath, the restless waters flow --
Silver, and cold, and slow,
Dim in the east there burns a new-born sun,
Whose rosy gleams along the ripples run,
Save where the mist droops low,
Hiding the level loneliness from me.
And now appears beneath the milk-white haze
A little fleet of anchored ships, which lie
In clustered company,
And seem as they are yet fast bound by sleep,
Although the day has long begun to peep,
With red-inflamèd eye,
Along the still, deserted ocean ways.
The fresh, cold wind of dawn blows on my face
As in the sun's raw heart I swiftly fly,
And watch the seas glide by.
Scarce human seem I, moving through the skies
And far removed from warlike enterprise --
Like some great gull on high
Whose white and gleaming wings beat on through space.
Then do I feel with God quite, quite alone,
High in the virgin morn, so white and still,
And free from human ill:
My prayers transcend my feeble earth-bound plaints --
As though I sang among the happy Saints
With many a holy thrill --
As though the glowing sun were God's bright Throne.
My flight is done. I cross the line of foam
That break around a town of grey and red,
Whose streets and squares lie dead
Beneath the silent dawn -- then am I proud
That England's peace to guard I am allowed;
Then bow my humble head,
In thanks to Him Who brings me safely home.
11-06-04, 06:28 AM #675NuttyfishGuest
I didn't know you were so poetic, Ghost! excellent!
11-06-04, 06:59 AM #676
11-06-04, 07:07 AM #677
Further and further we leave the scene
Of war -- and of England's care;
I try to keep my mind serene --
But my heart stays there;
For a distant song of pain and wrong
My spirit doth deep confuse,
And I sit all day on the deck, and long --
And long for news!
I seem to see them in battle-line --
Heroes with hearts of gold,
But of their victory a sign
The Fates withhold;
And the hours too tardy-footed pass,
The voiceless hush grows dense
'Mid the imaginings, alas!
That feed suspense.
Oh, might I lie on the wind, or fly
In the wilful sea-bird's track,
Would I hurry on, with a homesick cry --
Or hasten back?
11-06-04, 07:08 AM #678
I have a Rendezvous with Death
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
11-06-04, 07:10 AM #679
The Unknown Soldier
He is known to the sun-white Majesties
Who stand at the gates of dawn.
He is known to the cloud-borne company
Whose souls but late have gone.
Like wind-flung stars through lattice bars
They throng to greet their own,
With voice of flame they sound his name
Who died to us unknown.
He is hailed by the time-crowned brotherhood,
By the Dauntless of Marathon,
By Raymond, Godfrey and Lion Heart
Whose dreams he carried on.
His name they call through the heavenly hall
Unheard by earthly ear,
He is claimed by the famed in Arcady
Who knew no title here.
Oh faint was the lamp of Sirius
And dim was the Milky Way.
Oh far was the floor of Paradise
From the soil where the soldier lay.
Oh chill and stark was the crimson dark
Where huddled men lay deep;
His comrades all denied his call
Long had they lain in sleep.
Oh strange how the lamp of Sirius
Drops low to the dazzled eyes,
Oh strange how the steel-red battlefields
Are floors of Paradise.
Oh strange how the ground with never a sound
Swings open, tier on tier,
And standing there in the shining air
Are the friends he cherished here.
They are known to the sun-shod sentinels
Who circle the morning's door,
They are led by a cloud-bright company
Through paths unseen before.
Like blossoms blown, their souls have flown
Past war and reeking sod,
In the book unbound their names are found
They are known in the courts of God!
The Unknown Soldier
11-06-04, 08:12 AM #680
"How to Die"
Dark clouds are smouldering into red
While down the craters morning burns.
The dying soldier shifts his head
To watch the glory that returns;
He lifts his fingers toward the skies
Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
Radiance reflected in his eyes,
And on his lips a whispered name.
You'd think, to hear some people talk,
That lads go West with sobs and curses,
And sullen faces white as chalk,
Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.
But they've been taught the way to do it
Like Christian soldiers; not with haste
And shuddering groans; but passing through it
With due regard for decent taste.
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