Tuesday, September 1, 2015



Though the war is declared
over, arms surrendered,
the enemy never changed
and never died;

though love lies
listless among a million
curled-back muzzles, her
arsenal stays

undiminished. With each breath
she makes another soldier,
a new destruction. O
I dreamed it was over

the day I stemmed a daisy
down the still hot barrel;
while the whole earth cried peace
the sleek bullets flew

silver in the dark,
silent to the heart
as you, my love,
came in through my bones

knowing their roads,
floating their course, rolling
an ancient river, murmurous,
snuffing on a sigh of night

my sign of fire; still
you sought the lightning-splitten crag
that hid the source, and planted there
your own red banner,

a flying wing, a flag
fluttering round my eyes
full of your smell and color--
the color of war and summer.

~August 2015

Image: Death Flower, via pinterest   author unknown 


  1. Peace, freedom and love is everything. Great piece!

  2. Pat Benatar would love this. Love may be a battlefield, but it is one upon which there are no generals. Just each of us trying to cross no man's land to that greener trench over there. I love the image of the red banner, or flag, which seems to me to suggest both military banner and valentine. The whole thing seems quite in line with your quote at the top of the side bar.

  3. I love the power behind this, the drawing of the line. The build-up to the last stanza is filled with fabulous tension.

  4. What a joy it is to wake to another verse by you.

    I like how you use the peace imagery of the times, the putting the cut flower in the barrel of the guns. Sometimes no matter how much we want peace it remains unknown. Many times because no matter how much we want it, it takes both sides being willing. I like what Shay says, both about the generals and love being the battlefield. It leave many walking wounded as well.

  5. I could not help but remember Kent State while I read this. Peace and love, daisies in gun barrels, bullets amid students. Powerful!

  6. Your use of enjambment is especially strong here as you are able to convey both the enjambed or extended meaning and nearly its direct opposite-- this is a great tool for getting across the ironies and contrariness of what you describe--
    Fighting for peace in a way, love and war. Also so interesting to go from the Societal to personal-- thoigh they do mimic each other-- a capture of personal flag. Note that I seemed to lose other comment and was only able to copy a part so please delete this if the other broke through! Welcome back! K

  7. Hey - you're back! Yay! The beginning of this made me think of Kent State too, particularly the "stemed" a daisy in a gun barrel, Great verb btw. You line breaks are masterfully chosen, starting with the very first line. And, maybe I should have been an osteopath or a grave robber, but when you start talking about bones I just love it. What could be more intimate that that?

  8. That opening stanza is so on point, it gives me chills, and the whole poem is epic. There are some eras of history which remain forever scorched in memory (and I love to think of you in the crowd of protesters armed with daisies against the rifles) and the older we grow, those times seem to repeat before our eyes, because enmity can never be vanquished. I also like how you turned from global conflict to a more personal history, as you turn to address 'my Love'. It gave a most poignant end to an amazing piece of writing.

    I also really like the new look of your blog.

  9. Hi Joy--had a hard time commenting this morning on train, but think probably a plethora went through. Wanted to say that you have a very interesting new look and back drop--a la Edgar Allan with a touch of Robespierre! Ha. looks cool. k .

  10. we are not, yet are the same as every generation, tepid of action while vigorous of much sound and fury (signifying nothing) - only now, with new and improved killing machines whose blood is oil we've punctured from Gaia. my touchstone remains those Yeats lines: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    and yet.

    as you so deftly show, we can still observe, and in so doing, honor. those line breaks are *killer*, and the build, the crescendo, the intertwine of social and personal: superb ~

  11. Thanks everyone, for the warm welcome back, and to those who commented on the enjambment--thanks so much as I spent a lot of time agonizing over that.

  12. Joy,
    The enjambment shows such great confidence and freedom...it brings us through each successive stanza almost as if without effort--though I know there is much effort and thought given to each of the verses, and to these transitions. This approach melds the universal imagery with the personal so easily. This is a very well crafted and executed piece. I'm glad to see the Verse Escape banner flying again. And a great new look. Happy to be reading you again.
    Steve K.

  13. Oh such happiness to see your post on my blogroll. How did I endure August without you? Beautiful write, jazzy new look on your site.......just so happy to read you again. Yay!

  14. Present warmongers may have all been daisy-cuttered or retired to fatty surfeits, but war is never done ... If this poem signifies re-entering the lists, it's clear enough about who's pouring the bullets. In summer, what Frost called "a lover's quarrel with the world" burns with darker sulfur. Enough so that this poet must return to the fray? Well, then we will all read on ...

    1. Yes, I had no other place for the words when they come, so I just redecorated. ;_) Hopefully I have shaken off the trolls.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats