Thursday, March 17, 2022

Warfire

 


 

 

 


Warfire


In the killing fine fabric
of inflorescent flame
we walk, we burn,
dwindling from kindling
to bullet-bruised smut
alone in a dark
our dying lights up.
  
Murderers in red
boil a soup from the dead
in our hollowed heads
hidden hired thugs move,
their inhalation our blood,
their exhale the air
where the fire fed.


~May 2016








rewritten and reposted for DVerse Poets Pub










Image: Ukrainian State Border Guard Service site damaged by shelling in Kyiv region, Ukraine,  handout picture released February 24, 2022. (Press service of the Ukrainian State Border Guardvia Reuters)   Fair Use

19 comments:

  1. Suitably horrific evocation of war!

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  2. You've described this so viscerally, Joy, I can almost choke on the ashes. The image you have chosen befits the words so accurately. A dark scene but I love these turns of phrase:

    "dwindling from kindling"

    "their exhale the air
    where the fire fled."

    Also, I absolutely love the labels you have chosen! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Sunra. Good to know someone is reading the labels, as they are sort of my Rosetta stone for readers. The insanity continues, as does the struggle.

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    2. I always notice your labels, Joy :-)

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  3. Brilliant writing. You use language like a weapon.

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  4. The Beast grows fat in these times.

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  5. The title is perfect for the evisceration of all that humans seek in shelter and comfort, profane, a reduction to "bullet-bruised smut / alone in a dark / our dying lights up." The imagery is from the middle ages or from the warpath of ancient Mongols or Rome, but what really makes it so obscene is its siege-fire in the present, searing away whatever noosphere of connected communal democratic union so many of us envision as the nature of now. To go from that to "Murderers in red / boil a soup from the dead / in our hollowed heads." How shockingly far we can regress. Hard to write this stuff but essential for the moment and immoral not to burn on paper too.

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    1. Yes, I'm sickened and infuriated, and that is stony ground for poetry I'm afraid--I had to go back to 2016 for this one--I wonder which horrible act of war I was responding to--so many since then, it's hard to sort them out, but possibly Syria? An evil war which still continues. This is an indictment not just of the individual murderer who started this current vileness, but of what we all carry inside us as a species that allows it to happen. Thanks for reading, B. and for your insights, as always valuable to the tired muse within.

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  6. A visceral poem of the current situation! The rhyme and cadence make it more shocking.

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  7. You crafted that second stanza so deftly, Joy. It's like a (rather awful and upsetting) puzzle that we watch come together perfectly as we read. And that photo just says it all. All this destruction and loss of life, not to mention the displacement of people and (heartbreakingly) their children and pets, all because of one ice-cold man's greed and ambition. I seem to despair of the human race on a daily basis anymore. OTOH, Zelensky is the kind of leader we no longer see here in the US. One with backbone and strength. Alos, as always, it's good to see the 55 tradition continue. (And i always read the tags, too, often before reading the poem itself.)

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    1. Thank you, Shay. If only the world had more leaders with backbone and strength to fight back against the ones full of greed and bloodlust who don;t seem to lack either one themselves. Strength in evil, backbone that is pigheaded power-lust. Watching the world go to hell when we were young was bad enough--I never expected to see even worse in our so-called 'golden years." And tags are a language we share, dear.

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  8. "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

    how did Gandhi and King keep going in the face of atrocity and history? I wonder how peace can be grown from these terrible ashes?

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  9. I wonder what will arise from the blood and ash? It's chilling to see these horrific scenes of reality. Truly, I cry and have to turn off the TV. sigh

    I saw the date and wondered what inspired this back in 2016. It seems nothing is ever learned and history repeats itself.

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  10. This poem captures the feeling I have when I hear or see news from the Ukraine. My head becomes hollow with grief. Suzanne - (Wordpress - Mapping Uncertainty)

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  11. My goodness this is potent! You depict the horrors of war so eloquently.

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  12. It is not only the murder itself but how the murderer himself enter our dreams with hos bloodlust and hate... it changes us in ways that I don't want it to do... as usual it turns us all into to murderers in the end.

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  13. This is a straight punch to the solar plexus. It is sickening to watch this war unfold.

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  14. You captured it. You really captured it, which is agonising because here it is really like this. Unfortunately this is not the first time I have been involved in war but this is like nothing I have ever, ever seen. I suppose there was similar in Syria and Chechnya, but this terror unleashed knows no bounds. I cannot even mention the children because I just can't. Your verse was like therapy somehow, not sure why, but it must lie in the empathy and quality of the poetry.

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    1. I'm so glad if any words of mine were useful to you, Ain.What is happening now in Ukraine is a stain on all of us, and I can't understand why more is not being done by those with the power to intervene and help. Nothing good can come out of allowing a ruthless ,demented dictator to grab countries away from their people whenever the mood strikes him--unless he is stopped now, this will only be the beginning of a larger, longer conflict where no one wins. My hope is that you and the people of Ukraine, Ain, find some relief and aid. Soon.

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

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