Wounds of War

September 8, 2012
By Prehistoric-Fool GOLD, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Prehistoric-Fool GOLD, Wellesley, Massachusetts
16 articles 2 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Every path is the right path. Everything could’ve been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning.”

Nemo Nobody


In place of the knives, I picture a dove.
In the rotting depths, it pains to look above.
In this moment, the sun’s a world apart,
Forever shrouded by a doubting heart

Pushed by the current, rivers flow into oceans,
lost in the ebb and the flow of incessant motion.
Stray comets search for a virtue they’ve lost;
A remnant of a path they’ve crossed

A silent prayer raised to the skies,
broken by sounds of unrelenting cries.
Sobs bite into a transparent heart,
later to be perceived as a work of art.

So many hours blur into one,
stripped of color under the baking sun.
Days to weeks, to months, to years.
and I am here, I am still here…

Whimsical fancies quickly come and go-
achromatized scenes of a customary tableau.
So who're the jurors, the judges of this deed,
who stand by as their soldiers bleed?

This disdain for war, I try to purge-
these invisible wounds begin to emerge.
Still here I sit, amongst the smoke of grenades-
amongst a shrapnel of dreams and charades

Have courage, fight!..for a cause I despise,
solitary decay will be our demise.
Safe in his office a leader can stand,
“Fight with courage for the motherland!”

To fight with courage, to persevere…
‘tis difficult when I feel a stranger here.
In this battle I no longer know
the difference between friend and foe.

It’s so cold here, on my own
I ache for a place that’s no longer home
Do I not deserve a reason why,
why I should live only to die?

It’s so quiet here…
can you smell the underlying fear?
I’m so alone, but I’m surrounded by
so many who share my agony

Why can’t I feel this thing they call pride?
These woeful feelings won’t subside.
My name won’t be engraved on a polished rock,
Just another cog the world forgot

“The first explosion, burst in our hearts”
and we could no longer see the guiding stars.
“Forgive me comrade,” I’ve been so bad,
but we’re just so young, and are so sad.

The beast inside has eaten the emotion.
Here we are, in an endless ocean,
of sanguinary reds and dismal greys.
Winter has won, and we rot away.

“Direct my sails!”...
but this vessel is broken.


The author's comments:
This poem is inspired by the book "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Remarque, which recounts the experience of soldiers in the war.
All wars are civil wars, because men are brothers; they share the same human experiences and emotions. Thus, the horrors of war affect all men involved psychologically.

As WWI dragged on, it became unclear, especially for the soldiers, as to who they were fighting, and why-in the poem, the speaker no longer knows the “difference between friend and foe,” because he feels surrounded by many who share his “agony,” including soldiers on the other side of the battlefield. In this way, it is made clear that the soldiers are not fighting each other out of patriotism or vehement feeling, but because they are ordered to.

Like rivers, soldiers are pushed by the currents (leaders) into oceans, where freshwater is contaminated by the inundating saltwater in the seas. This changes the salinity of the river water and ruins it- however, it is not a visible destruction. The water is the same color, so the creeping salt is an “invisible wound”- just as the majority of the soldier’s wounds are psychological wounds. The soldier now questions the righteousness of authority (Stanzas 5, 7, 9,11) who create wars for their men to die in- wars that change men into strangers, war that deforms men…

The 'guiding stars' under which all the soldiers live under are things that connect them to one another. They have the same aspirations, the same dreams, the same emotions… but now all the stars seem to have dimmed- for all of them. They can “look above” (first stanza) no longer, can no longer hang on to intangible faith like god and goodwill- all that exists is survival and the solid earth.

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This article has 2 comments.


on Sep. 22 2012 at 11:41 pm
Prehistoric-Fool GOLD, Wellesley, Massachusetts
16 articles 2 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Every path is the right path. Everything could’ve been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning.”

Nemo Nobody

  Young soldier awaits the break of sun/ through the black powder residue of his gun/ Direct his sails! But the words unspoken/ need remind you that this vessel be broken.

on Sep. 22 2012 at 11:40 pm
Prehistoric-Fool GOLD, Wellesley, Massachusetts
16 articles 2 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Every path is the right path. Everything could’ve been anything else. And it would have just as much meaning.”

Nemo Nobody

EDIT:
I hate that I can't edit on this website... the last verse should be:   Young soldier awaits the break of sun through the black powder residue of his gun. Direct his sails! But the words unspoken, need remind you that this vessel be broken.




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