Tag Archives: war

Cinders At The Bright Gates

Chosen, St. Catherine, St. Michael had come to her,

led her to where the sword was behind the altar,

told her to make a banner of Jesus in Heaven,

and she went to war.

 

She sat on her steed, the tall and dark warhorse,

and looked out at the battle field. She’d carried the day.

She felt the light of the sun warming her skin

beneath her armor.

 

Frail from the war, the muddy camps, and little food.

Tired, but willing to go on, willing to drink from her bitter cup.

She grieved even for the enemies cut down, for the carrion crows.

For all this wicked world could be.

 

She turned her head, and looked to the sky.

The sun was bright and untroubled by it’s sight.

Was it not the eye of God, after all?

Did it not see all this blood and death?

 

A fire in the castle burned, and Joan was transfixed.

St. Catherine and St. Michael had told her what was to be.

She drank from her bitter cup, but the weight was the sky.

Fire would raise her ashes to heaven, cinders at the bright gates.

No Grace Forlorn

Even on this bitter and cold morn, their is bird song.

The little brook rolls and gurgles and babbles along.

Sunlight, but darkness for me will come before long.

I turn my face to the blue sky, for to air I will belong.

 

My body is torn, broken, but I stand now so proud.

I am in the hands of my enemies, an invading shroud.

I did not break. I did not give in. I said no name aloud.

I don not feel their eyes, or the angry sniggers of the crowd.

 

A teetering, improvised gallows, the pull the noose down.

I think of the haunted forests, and family, in my little town.

They offer pardon, they offer relief, if I give names, breakdown.

I say: “You will know their names when they snatch your crown.”

 

And I hear a bird sing, high and clear in the cold morn.

I know in spring the war will rage, as animals are born.

I close my eyes, I have been strong, my true face so worn.

Drop and snap, darkness claims me, no grace forlorn.

Broken Winged Angel

Felicity came, ethereal spirit, broken winged angel.

I lay on my side looking at her in the dark of the room.

Her light flickered and was ashen grey, blurry at the edges.

She was dreaming, a moment of sleep out on the front.

She sent her light to me, as I lay in the mental asylum,

slipping away from her and what remnants remained of hope.

Her smile was strained, and she held her side, chest rising laboriously.

Even in dreams we hurt and we bleed and the demons come to claim us.

I had been awake all night, and now I could make it through, for she came.

Her light walked towards me, still in her tattered and dirty uniform.

She crouched beside me, and she stroked my cheek, looked into my eyes.

I saw the light becoming distorted, I saw the horrors blotting out her hope.

Tears filled my eyes, and I felt shame again at being broken, and left behind.

Through her light, she kissed my head, tenderly kissed my lips, wiped away the tears.

The war was here and it was everywhere, no escape from the blood, the loss, the bitterness.

She stood up, and then flickered and disintegrated and then was gone, her eyes lingering.

She can never stay, only comes in the dead of night, and is losing herself out on the front.

I am broken and cannot be by her side. I weep bitterly. I slip away into tormented sleep.

Amen To Wild Days

The recording she sent me, of our old stories of private gods and our valorous children,
has the cold wind of roaring February blowing her straight brown hair and her soft and
gossamer voice.
She sits in the field, our once mighty and eternal kingdom that has faded now, just a field,
as we have grown up, and the tales just slip away forever, you cannot hold them close,
cannot remain that child, even if you never grow up.
My tattering and navy blue hoodie, the one I gave her when I left for the war, from
Weeki Wachee springs, our last childhood adventure, all of sixteen, all out of grace,
the summer when mermaids were taking us down.
She wears it, and her t-shirt of the painting of Diane the Huntress, and blue jeans and
black boots, steel toed for her job, as she sits with our leather bound book of tales,
our own private holy writ of gods now lost.
Her soft, dark eyes cast down, light brown hair blowing over her face, the wind the edge
of tears in her voice as it swirls it up and whips the gossamer like spider webs in the gale,
ripping apart to send to the ancient kingdoms.
I watch this, laying down in my bunk, on my aging smartphone, still good enough for us,
and the working she is sending, of the brave monarchs we once were, the gods who adored us,
and the children we made out of dreams and voices.
I am away at the war, and her, with her mental illness, stayed behind, and she sends her magic,
her voice, our dreams, to me to protect me and anoint me and keep me safe, from friend and enemy,
and The Red Dragons that eats up children’s hearts.
Reaching the end, she closes the book, closes her eyes, says sacred words I cannot hear or pronounce,
and then looks into her little camera as if to look me in the eye, and smiles, beautiful and sad,
then says there will be another child coming from as last night together, this one in the usual way.
She turns off the camera, I turn off the video, and sit in the dark, the stars in the barracks window,
the stars all secret gods and valorous children that has been lost but still light the night and the dark,
and ours watch over us even know, in the war that will be The Red Dragon’s finally victory.
Amen to mad days, and the ones left behind. Amen to brave tales, and our loss that makes us sweet.
Amen to her, and what might yet be.

Cherry Blossoms

The morning sky is as soft, tender and pink

as the cherry blossoms beginning to bloom,

the first of spring.

Riding on her new bike. A simple, pretty dress.

Will he see her? Will she smile for him, passing?

Will it be love?

She stops on the boardwalk, looks to the waves.

The beach is so quiet, so sacred, in the first light.

The war is over. The war is over.

She is free.

All The Boys Are Gone

A young and pretty French girl, in her blue and white swimsuit,

walks upon the beach, her light brown hair a little shaggy,

that shortly ago was a playful pixie cut.

The holiday season is over, but it’s still warm, still bright,

and she imagines she will see mermaids again, out in the waves,

know that all the ignorant eyes are gone.

That all the boys are gone.

Still cigarette butts in the sand, and a soda can half-buried,

people not caring. A million years ago no people existed, to take

and to sully, and to claim as their own.

The mermaids were here though, as they always have been, outside of time,

and a girl’s broken heart, like hers. A mermaid, with dark hair, sparkling tales,

waves to her from the breakers.

She waves, all the boys are gone.

The mermaids are eternal and outside of time, like the hulking black bunkers,

from a war that never ended, just down the coast. Skulls of a demon that burrows

in brains and flesh, always hungry, always finding willing hosts.

She walks into the water, lukewarm and swallowing, and swims out to the mermaid,

her sister and friend, who knew here, when she was free and innocent, and the terror

was in shadows and not in the light.

The mermaid has come for her, all the boys are gone.

There Is Color Abounding

New York City, as autumn comes.
Even in the city, there is colors abounding.

I sit under the statue of Nike, goddess of victory.
A face still charms, lost to time, kept in bronze.

 

Jet fighters fly overhead, leaving contrails
to slice up and divvy up the sky, between us, them.

The sky is not ours, just taken, filled it’s whispers.
Even The Church, puts God aside in his heaven.

 

Nike, with her laurels and scepter, she gives medals,
but does not mop up the blood, or heal us in the winning.

it’s autumn, and even here are colors, and the sweetness
of the season sleeping out in the open, while we eat our young.

 

Neither The World Nor It’s Souls

Caroline, who once heard spirits,

lays in her bathtub, lukewarm water,

looking up through the makeshift skylight,

as a bomber flies overhead.

She sighs, the war has already come,

and nothing in the world or it’s souls

could turn away the half-rotted face

of the queen of the dead.

Her town is left to burn and starve,

and her man was taken at the first,

only her alone in this house of theirs,

all hope and light has already fled.

She could almost sleep, sink under

the grey and soapy water, take that

into her lungs and not be in this world,

full of fires and blood and endless dread.

She gets out, gets dressed, cuts her hair

short and at a harsh angle, and packs her

bag with enough to last maybe a week,

and a picture of the man she never got to wed.


Warm Like Eden

Long and pale red hair, falling over slim shoulders.

Slim shoulders kept safe by a soft, light brown jacket.

A sweet face content in a pale ale and BLT.

Safe. I feel safe watching her.

I said “Hello.”, touching her soft jacket.

It felt warm like Eden.

Angel in a swank sports bar, as hell follows a lost faith’s pale horse.

She hugs me, and I believe the stars will remember us.

A hit of hope in her kindness, and her light, as I lose track of God and man.

And then home, to call them up for war.


An Abandoned A-Frame Church, On The Edge of the Kansas Plain, Late August

End of a cul-de-sac in an abandoned suburb,
surrounded by a plain of golden wheat,
as golden as the sun.

Musty and broken A-frame church,
mid-century bright and pretty and full
of light, shines for no one, or only one.

The starburst cross on the wall,
the altar empty and broken,
by our greed, restlessness undone.

 

I sleep in the old nursery, with a happy Jesus
and bright colors and a nostalgia glow
of a happier time before doubt.

I write words in my yellow, legal tablet,
trying to touch God, be touched by God,
in the ruins of a world left to those left out.

I remember, seeing something in the sun, once,
in an August morning, so bright and pure
that my child mind couldn’t help but shout.

 

The sanctuary still glows gold in late summer,
in the morning glow that may even be a Sunday morning
as I wait for her to come back from the war in Amarillo

I pray for her safety and bravery, and to know beyond this world,
when I wrap her in my arms again, the weight of her reality
and the softness of her kisses, the harsh breath from a cigarillo

and that we will be one flesh, and one spirit, complete, total,
made new in God’s sight and the musty gold and holy light
of this old church so full of light, as the fading trees still lush billow.