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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Two Battle Poems

After the nonsense of the last 3-4 days (for which see yesterday's post) I needed an area of sanity and peacce to get writing again, so naturally, I went to look at Magpie Tales' brief for this week:-


And when the tools of war are hung upon the wall,
what tools have they become? Do they look down,
broadsword and battleaxe, lance, shield and dirk,
on scenes of verbal jousting round a table set
with fare from bygone days? Or are they tools
for lives vicarious, of derring-do's vainglory?
Perhaps they're looking down, embarrassed and ashamed
of all the blood that once dripped from their blades or dried
in abstract characters on wood or leathern shield.
They teach their lessons and they sing their songs,
they murmur prayers or point towards their visions
and demand to know of us: where do we stand? Are
we romantic glorifiers? historical
deniers? Or those who think they learn by their mistakes?

and then this happened:-

Standing where I am,
and looking from the bedroom window
down into a busy road,
busy with its busy people going home,
I cannot see it all;
the trees and other vehicles
protect it, snuggling in its lair
from outside view.
Inflating and deflating like a toad -
that much I see.
A boat of some kind,
with a roof-rack where its sails should be.
A fish towards the bows.
Square-eyed, round-jawed,
but somehow streamlined, like a shark.
Wide, low and blue, an anchor for a tusk,
and to the rear, with upturned tail -
a scorpion, I fear.

A man, my neighbour,
with power hose, washes it,
the late sun sparkling off the jet.
St George, I reason,
laser-armed
does battle with
the half-organic, half bionic
androgenous, steel
monster.
(We never witnessed scenes like this
before the house price slump.)
I shall in future treat
my neighbour with respect.

34 comments:

Sailor said...

Beautiful work.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Excellent poems.
One of our neighbours has bought a boat -- a piddly ten-footer they've named 'Dignity'. I was tempted to graffitti it with an 'In'

Isabel Doyle said...

Two good poems to fire from your cannon!

Berowne said...

Good writing...

Tess Kincaid said...

Very clever, Dave. Some kind of monster boat, indeed.

thingy said...

I loved your thought about the weapons. Strange how we romanticize death weapons.

Titus said...

Liked the first, but loved, loved, loved the second! Great moment mythologised and deadpan humour.

Jinksy said...

I sincerely hope we learn by our mistakes...

"Perhaps they're looking down, embarrassed and ashamed
of all the blood that once dripped from their blades or dried
in abstract characters on wood or leathern shield."

Kathe W. said...

Perfect! I like both- especially the second one!

The Weaver of Grass said...

The moral seems to be that you should never look down on your neighbour from an upstairs window as you never know what you might see.

Jingle said...

apt message..
mindful and thoughtful writing..

Helen said...

You have a magical way of posing the most intriguing questions ... then turning around and telling us stories.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Excellent images, Dave, evocative and strong.

Lena said...

A stunningly thought-inducing write (thankfully not affected by the house price slump!)

Tumblewords: said...

I try not to notice a lot of what's happening. :) You've done a terrific job of capturing it with a wryness that works!

Dave King said...

Thanks sailor

Dave King said...

Leatherdykeuk
Good thinking. What stopped you?

jane.healy said...

Very good responses to this weeks prompt!

Dave King said...

Isabel
A case of touch the blue paper and retire, eh?

Dave King said...

Berowne
Thanks. Good to have you visiting.

Dave King said...

Tess
Oddly, I still have no idea what it was. It was much hidden by trees and other vehicles.

Dave King said...

Thingy
Very strange, but we surely do.

Dave King said...

Titus
Thanks for that most helpful and encouraging response. Much appreciated.

Dave King said...

Jinksy
Well, we try, but it seems to me we merely make the opposite mistake and don't do what we did last time when perhaps we ought.

Dave King said...

Kathe
Hi, Good to have you with us. Many thanks for the feedback. It really is useful.

Dave King said...

Weaver
Yes, I can take that from the experience. Mayube we shouldn't look down upon our neighbour, full stop!

Dave King said...

Thanks a lot Jingle. Much appreciated.

Dave King said...

Helen.
I hadn't thought of it like that, but,yes, I can see I do do that. Thanks for the adjectives, though.

Dave King said...

Conda
Many thanks for the support. Good to have your comments.

Dave King said...

Lena
A warm welcome to you. Thanks for visiting and for commenting. True, so far not affected by the house price slump!

Dave King said...

Tumblewords
Very wise of you. Thanks for the compliment.

Dave King said...

Jane
Thanks for saying so.

Lucy Westenra said...

In a word . . excellent.

Mary said...

So very different, and both so good!