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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Secret Weapon

During World War II
                           there was
                           in our neigbourhood at least
a rumour I had often heard
as gossip in the gardens - that the Germans
                           had a secret weapon, 
                           one that could travel underground
                           and move through earth not moving earth,
                           manufacturing no movement but its own.
It could travel any distance (almost)
                           could creep beneath our feet
                           and our foundations
                           displacing nothing,
                           not the flimsiest root of tree or plant,
noiseless, undetectable, it would leave everything intact
then
    at a given moment
                      or a given signal
blow everything to bits.

I knew people who believed this tale
or said they did
                repeated it as a known fact.

After the war
             a funeral
                      and I began to wonder 
might not the dead behave like that?              
                                   those in the churchyard
stealing their breathless way beneath
                                     our grass roots
disturbing nothing in their journey through the generations
shadows slipping through the eons -
and how many epochs stretching out before them?-
until they find their mark
                          and wreak their vengeance
on the living
             or reward the dark.
                                                                                              
Maybe that was where the Germans 
                               found the concept for their bomb,
and maybe those old gossips had been spot on all along...



12 comments:

Windsmoke. said...

Fantastic imagery liked it very much :-).

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dave - your imagination knows no bounds!

jane.healy said...

Scarey thoughts!

Titus said...

Now I want to know if there's any truth in the first part or if it has all come from your mind. I suppose that's due to the writing - familiar, and yet fantastic.

120 Socks said...

Love the 'gossip in the gardens', great line, but after that, OMG so moving, the reference to those poor souls that lost their lives. This poem hits different levels - If publishing collection, not one to be left out!

Isabel Doyle said...

this poem reads like a conversation in a pub - hearsay, rumour, suggestion - and then the link to now, fears, ghosts and whispers

great stuff and an intriguing journey

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Dave,
This is a most interesting poem and evoking thoughts in two different ways.
The thoughts associated with The Second World War and the obvious fear and distrust of the Germans, especially after a major incident, such as the bombing of Coventry, or indeed my home city of Belfast.
The ordinary citizen could be forgiven for believing almost anything was possible.

The idea of souls 'continuing along an underground journey' is also interesting.

I like this very much Dave, as it is a breath of freshness and affords much thought!
Eileen.

BTW:Thank you for your very generous comments, left at my Blog.

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent, intriguing poem and congrats on getting that layout on Blogger!

SG said...

Very interesting, and you have put it down beautifully!

Dave King said...

Windsmoke
Good to know, thanks for saying.

Weaver of Grass
Maybe that's why it used to get me into trouble...

jane
My thoughts scared me. Theirs never did.

Titus
There was no truth in the rumour that the Germans had such a weapon.
It is true that some of our neighbours spoke in hushed voices of the fact that they had heard that the Germans had this weapon and were about to use it on us. (Some thought it might be German misinformation.)
The rest is me.

120 Socks
Thank you so much for a very encouraging response. Much appreciated.

Isabel
Very much so, as I remember it now, it very much had the character of pub gossip - overlaid, I suppose, with my own childish fears far removed from bombs and war.

Eileen
Many many thanks for your comment, your remarks very much reflect my thinking as I reflect upon those days. Very useful feedback.

Crafty Green Poet
Many thanks - on both counts.

SG
A warm welcome to you and much thanks for the comment.

Mary said...

Interesting. I had never heard this particular rumor about the Germans; but I remember in grade school having air raid drills in school, having to go beneath our desks, cover our heads. So foolish, now that I look back. How would that have helped? I also remember the fear instilled by J. Edgar Hoover. Communist cells in every neighborhood. Beware. How much fear our own government (US) put into us; and as a child, of course, I was afraid! And now, as I look back, it seems these were really carefree times compared to what we live with today! Sorry about my long-windedness here.

Kat Mortensen said...

Love this! I can only imagine that the fear engendered by the Germans at that time would definitely manifest itself as these bizarre, uncanny notions. I'm sure, had I been a child in those days, in those circumstances, my imagination would have been rife with such mad ideas!