The cram of stars in the navy-night
blue-light of summer solstice.
The majestic zodiac sprawled
across the ever-stretching sky.
Ancient definitions of myth
star-stories of pre-determined fate
mapped in the moment and place
of our birthing; such fantasies
such imaginings of stellar systems
and mankind’s significance.
Heavens and humours; rules and rights
from Gods to kings and subjects
All settled in an ordered Universe
until, curiosity, ingenuity and invention
observation and record, rigor and Science
with its license to question freedom.
I am the damned and damaged warrior
Mighty presence on an arid plain
Waste-land empty and scorch-scarred parched
Looking to the dazzling dawn
Of another baking, aching, dry day
Of another dying, desert year.
They watched bold marching
To each pitiful skirmish
And every blood-hungry moment
Of all the days and nights.
They watched corded muscles
Spasm and seize
With each call to stretch and pull
And drag the weary-worn
To fight again.
Let no man call with shrill-shriek of the owl
Across the night-filled silence
Let no-one ever whisper in the dark, dearth
Across the shadowed chasm
I am alone within a purple shade
Night-cloaked in cunning strange
I am the time-deadened, weary watchman
Locked in a forever-circle of despair
Manacled with lead, banded with steel
Tight twisted and knotted by a skein of silk
Woven tightly by the softest hand
Strengthened by certainty and pure calm
There is no escape to unearth
Is skirting the edge of existence
Picking at the loose threads
Teasing and niggling the fraying filaments
Laddering and snagging
And pulling, pulling out beyond time
The winding-sheet, the sack-cloth shroud
The only closing choice.
© M.L.Emmett 04/08/98
revised 31/08/2014; finally revised 16/02/2016.
Filed under Mind, Poem, sadness, War
My Maypole mind unravels
reverses centrifugal force
its streamer shreds of ribbons
in one grand and splendid rush.
Mind loosened and snapped
© M.L.Emmett 08/02/99 Revised 16/02/2012
The barbed wire is wound
and catches tight
around the torso.
Razor wire loops limbs
and worries the skin
There is a hot wire passed
through the skull
and down the spine
pulled tight and taut
Pain only lives
roasted in the core
© M.L.Emmett 13/06/99 Revised 16/02/2016