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Sentinel Poetry (Online) #47, October 2006. ISSN 1479 425X

The Internationl Journal of Poetry & Graphics…since 2002

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Stevie Gray

 

These Men

(Written during a visit to the Somme)

 

Who are these men who lie in unmarked graves,

Who never made it home

to English Weather, waiting girls?

For whom youth died in rifle fire,

A roar of blood,

And falling blind through foreign mud?

 

Barely immortalised in impassive stone,

Where every age, like silent shells still falling,

Erodes their final post in time,

Wears down their names

Until only a glorious untruth remains,

Of angels bearing fallen soldiers,

Of fanfares and honour,

A lie to sell

To the black-clad widows of war.

 

These mouths were silenced long before

They could pass onto us what they knew they should.

Their lives do not touch us now,

If they ever did,

Ever could.

And time rapes stone,

Strips them of identity,

Cuts them loose across eternity,

Adrift, untouchable,

Alone.

 

 

At the End of Everything

 

You say there are no absolutes.

Give me time and I will show you
a darkness
that defies that pretty theory.

Do not grow complacent,
for while you sleep...

I am the Joker of the Tarot deck,
the card dealt
at the end of every game:
after the loves and the lovers,
the dreams you had
that were not enough,
the sights you saw,
the confessions you made,
the tears you wept.

After all of this,
I will see you,

at the end of everything.

 

 

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