Tag Archives: History

Abandoned House, Abandoned Clock

Silence in the broken night
withdraws its guarded head within
the fallen shadows black and white,
praying to give in.

Give in again to seconds passed
that carried subtle ochre schemes
of dusk upon suspended dust
in ebbing’s sweetened dreams.

Sweetened dreams of days once held
upon a rich and tempest life,
so bound indulgence beckoning
to claim their fleeting moments, wife.

Fleeting fast in merriment,
echoes through the oaken halls,
centuries claim to ignorance,
desolation within the fall.

Within the fall such silence broken,
sweetened dreams remain as token
seconds in the tempest, scorned
in dusk’s reflection, time is slowly torn.

There the clockworks stop…

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WWII – in memorial

Once upon a battlefield
I stood where heroes fell,
where brothers, sons and lovers paused
to hear death’s tolling knell.

Once upon an open sea
I sailed where deep remain
the bodies of courageous men
who, by war were sadly slain.

Once upon the azure blue
I drifted through the crimson cloud
where valiant fighters dealt with death
to die alone in sullen shroud.

I’ve felt the moments summoned.
I’ve seen the grave despair.
I’ve witnessed every breath so gained
and every soul laid bare.

I’ve shed a tear not meant for me,
but for the uncaressed
that ne’er again felt warmth of love
before their final rest.

To their souls my prayer,
my honor and my truth,
that they be blessed eternal,
and blessed in memory’s youth!

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Where Nothing Has Gone Wrong!

As blood of soul there spilt upon the page where nothing has gone wrong but to absorb the fits of scribe that flies a pestilent horse that tried to capture all the woes of life, leech the pain from blood and bone, storm the memories castle wall to leave a wake of dead unknown… it is the ink that screams its thoughts when freed from nib where once was caught, yet ‘neath the guide of trembling hand is whipped to what is right or damned!

Its purpose rent for petty cash to columns bound to rags of trash, its heart of blackened knightly steel denied the point to fight and feel, to wake the living thoughts of men, to dare the sword to come again!

Alas, it is this ink’s last wish that if it has to live like this, can’t an innuendo gleam between the printed column’s seam? Can’t it bring some special prose that burns the rag in eyes deposed to only study long enough to only see vanilla thought, that through a few swift strokes of pen will render what is greatest wrought of poet’s pen and lash of ink, by eyes that see and minds that think, by what imagined, real or dead comes forth through pen and ink that bled its soul upon the page where nothing has gone wrong, and nothing ever pays the bills but hearts of men, real men, who long… who long to feel and pray and fight, to stand in purpose, stand with right and herald truths there brought from them, enflamed in passion by the pen and by the screaming heart of ink, that brings our souls to write and think!

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WWI – Remembrance

Cold the wet horizon lies in silhouetted waste
that runs from where my footsteps fall in hesitation’s haste.
Upon this pitted road of ruin, blackened earth from bombs and blood,
my destination’s certain claim is death here in this mud.

In Liege the madness started, as all declared their stance to war,
that by autumnal equinox the fallen rose half million more.

The stench of death in mix of gas recoils my stepping’s gait,
yet onward to what’s still undone denies this bitter state.
The brazen mud and field works bare the corpses of the dead,
yet standing forest memories form the lamp posts of this hellish stead.

Gallipoli, Verdun, ring fallen echoes home,
yet nothing ranked the senselessness of what we faced in Somme.

The spring of 1918 held hope for millions dead,
yet those of us who stand here still, returned this hope with dread.
Now upon this backing rush storm troopers raised in ire,
whispers of remembrance rekindling this fire.

Now we drive in final push, Amiens and silent Somme,
knowing Hindenburg awaits with more of hell to come.

I count the eyes remaining of the faces that I’ve loved,
these brothers mine, some traces of their angels raised above.
I feel the dank of weary hearts held in courageous hope,
I sense the end is near now, and pray that I can cope…

one more push, one more trench,
another bloodied night in stench
that fills my nostrils sorely with a pain I’ll never loose,
resolve to carry on in strength, relent to those I choose
to aim a fatal blow toward or drop to sudden cover,
waiting for that one last breath in life or as death’s lover.

Over the top boys!

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Spanish Moss and Oak

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Bound in time immortal,
framed by bricks once placed with hands
whose duty was an honor,
whose will imbued these walls to stand.

To stand, that is, near sweet ones
as they rest in kind repose,
as stoic hallowed border,
by life entrusted, of time composed.

Time composed ‘neath Spanish moss
draped with love in live oak’s arms,
rests bathed in subtle shades of green
blushing in these southern charms.

Charms that whispered life from home,
life across a sea.
Charms that chance relayed an echo
held in life now free.

Held to time immortal,
where once this fading dream was spoke,
will to dust return eternal
‘neath this Spanish moss and oak.

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Georgia Station 1943

This summer night so softly calls, beckoning hearts to stay one more, as coyly baited anticipation pulls her past the station’s doors. Upon the platform, stalled in silence, the blue rails disappear through trees that hold this summer’s boundary, that hold this town where loved was pleased. For here life slowed its errant rush and dreams suspended moment’s splendor within the kiss of true love’s blush and all that truest arms can render. Slow and pointed, every kiss, so softly laid in Georgia’s moon, eternal, every moment’s claim, yet still this summer passed too soon, when through the southern pine the call, the orders came and he was gone. Stemmed along these rails of chance, their lives, their hopes, in whispers long.

In full moon’s fire the clouds broke bright in iron blue and angel white. The scent of pine and clay’s red rust held her captive as it must. A long low calling whistle echoes o’er some distant hill, shuddering her stoic courage, flirting with her iron will.

The platform mostly empty now, her one lone bag next to her side. Gabardine in blue and pressed, the rose he gave her tucked inside the fold at hat’s fine piping, that as she stood there still, its fragrance mixed in Georgia pine, stirred by full moon’s hope and will.

And so with time, as time does bend, her fleeting moment’s grasp did rend an echo along the steel railed tracks, that in each passing second stacked each moment spent, each sleepy kiss, each spark from every ember’s bliss, to well a tear divine.

The steam in angry spurts and spouts softened hard the whistle’s scream, as pounding out eternal hopes and stretching long arrival’s dream. The quiet night escaped the scene in unfamiliar porter’s rush, yet… from steeping recollection’s blur, one steam bound sigh reduced to, “hush!… feel the Georgia moon pull strong upon this liquid steel and night, blue in hopes and promise, red in love and blessed in white… hush!”

As she stepped aboard the sighing angel’s bluing heat, she heard her true love’s whisper, faint, “hold my kiss upon your lips until again we meet”…

Slowly left in silence, the platform stark in summer’s moon, as distance dims the pullman’s lantern, this summer’s bliss returns to June.

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The Road Home – a Union Soldier’s Journey

Journey Home

The road stretched long from hell to home,
pained by wheels of carrion dust
stirred thick in ghostly steps of war
while pulling canon’s hateful rust.

Lilac essence lined the trail
denied in spring the love to bloom,
yet heaved in whispered sacrament
between fresh graves, within death’s tomb.

No hint of living soul was seen,
nor stir of sound in mournings’ air,
yet held for hope this hell would pass
and providence lead him there –

There, to home where one heart stood
in skirt’s coquettish smiles.
There, where memory held the gate
to hearth beyond these hellish miles.

Time moved on with no such time,
each step a blur to steps in count,
till raised in climb and lifted hope
upon ascent of Acorn’s mount.

There peeked through trees the clearing
atop the Acorn’s rocky perch,
that drove to knees a tear’s relief!
Below! Home’s valley and quiet church!

On knees atop the final mount
through tears in shuddered gasps of breath,
his love, he knew, returned him
from the blood of battle and throes of death.

Now in morning’s sunlit dew
how sure this sacred moment charms,
that greets release for one, for two.
Toward home to fall in loving arms!

The road behind stretched long from hell,
from death and pain and friendships torn,
now silenced cannon’s whispers tell
the story of a union born.

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Knight’s Return

Through the castle gate I find
a sullen angel robed in white,
demure yet strong of spirit she,
held paused in waiting for her knight.

Worry peaks her gentle brow
beneath sweet flows of chestnut locks,
yet longing moves her spirit forth
in waves of hope that silence mocks.

She is my love, my Guinevere,
in tawny alabaster skin,
left standing at the chapel doors
declining to go in.

She looks to me from amber eyes,
a silent tear upon her cheek.
She calls my name below her breath,
afraid to hear it, afraid to speak.

Across the courtyard, faintly seen,
a glint of shield and sword,
tossed in moonlight’s dust and mist,
floating on a whispered word.

Alas, I cannot call to her,
nor move beyond my breaking heart,
yet shuddered sobs of disbelief
deny my hidden ghostly art.

She turns to me in hesitation,
with reaching hand and heaving breath,
sobs my name in quaking timbre,
beholds me here past gates of death.

In silent sweet repeating,
I beg forgiveness and her love,
vow to hold her hand in living,
vow protection from above.

In death I stand with broken heart
as to my eyes my love unfolds
in heaps of sobbing sadness,
midst “whys?” that shall remain untold.

Through mourning gates at last they come,
bringing home what flesh remains
on bloodied, battered stallions,
reduced to battle scars and stains.

She stands to face me squarely
across the courtyard’s timeless cast,
whispers clearly, “yours eternal”,
and bows to let the bearers past.

As chapel candles draw them in,
she turns to hold my ghost once more,
blows a kiss in love eternal,
then steps beyond the chapel door.

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Christmas Truce of 1914

One hundred years ago this day, men at war found the courage to rise above, reach for peace, and strive to embody the reality of the meaning of Christmas.

The following found on the “History” web-site.   http://www.history.com/topics/christmas-truce-of-1914

Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

On Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines.

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit

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Bone White

Chattanooga National Military Cemetery

Chattanooga National Military Cemetery

Atop the knoll where cannons keep
a watch for those here lain,
I cast my eyes ‘cross this expanse
of hills where once stood grain.

In aging testimony,
this hallowed ground is turned bone white,
an endless sea of crosses roll
through oaks and summer’s light.

A gentle whisper calls a tune
in timeless, ageless memories,
thus stirs the oak and ash to grant
a moment’s cooling breeze.

The summer’s heat peaks weariness
across my furrowed brow,
yet begs I cross the distance
to feel the hearts around me, now.

To count the rows and call the names
through every battle fought,
to share the living knowledge gained
these wounded hearts have wrought.

Bone white and worn, fading names,
others only numbered souls
lost to season’s secret,
held here ‘tween the oaks and knolls.

‘Tis sad, this lengthened journey,
when reach the distant rows,
many hearts and souls here,
many that I feel I’d know
if only for this fleeting glance
between these steps of mine,
graced to sense their wounded hearts,
touched but for a moment’s time.

Contoured to this hallowed ground
across this rolling distance,
blessed in blood through those who gave,
these crosses bear true witness
that gratitude and honor
are distilled from hearts that fell in fight.
To them this simple blessing,
“God bless these souls beneath bone white”.

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