Monday, February 11, 2008

For my first posting, a poem.

The inspiration for this poem was a line from Billy Collins' poem "Nightclub." In the poem the narrator speaks of sitting in a nightclub listening to jazz singer Johnny Hartman and the music that allows those listening to "slip by degree into a rythmic dream." That line made me think of a time in which I slipped by degree into a flashback. This poem depicts the original experience that was the flashback's sourse.

Nature and the Unnatural

Harsh natural forces: searing heat and humidity, freezing cold and wind; and
forces unnatural: life draining and death dealing
conflict, lead the unprotected
into havoc.

Natural and gentle
forces:
breezes, rustling leaves,
chirping birds, the cosmic dance
can induce one into
a rhythmic dream.

A young soldier once stood in nature.
Harsh natural forces and forces unnatural
placed him
in an environment of

discordance
and
disintegration.

Sleep deprived, he’d walked beyond
exhaustion carrying the weight of
war:
a weapon, ammunition, grenades,
numbing fear.

Dazed, he stands in a swamp.
The sun’s mid-day heat ricochets off the
water’s blazing surface
invading
his
body
and
being

Energy continues to
waste
from him as he waits
for orders to move on and
for the elements of war:
exploding,

ripping

slaughtering
booby-traps and ambushes,
battles:
chaos.

He is little more than a shell,
insides spent,
waiting zombie-like to
continue on
into
oblivion.

2 comments:

Searching Soul said...

Really powerful juxtaposition of natural forces (both nature's gentle forces and the harsher forces) and the solder's experiences of the world through his body and the positing of the violence of battle as unnatural. Even the natural world can be harsh, but (if I undertsand you correctly) only the ravages of war are unnatural). Publish.

Rick in Powell said...

Very well said. I know of where you have been.