Absent Drums - Poem by mark littler
I stumbled across a war Poet, in place in cold November
finding blank pictures, brief notices.
I saw falling soldiers, attention to line
I wanted to meet the author of those days know I didn't have to speak to him, all dead and awaking from unusual dreams.
Heavy with burst balloon face, eyes like a day in childhood, blurred and pastel.
Alive and hopeless, St George and the Dragon- monster still breathing.
He had time to shit himself, this shows a lack of imagination.
He tells me nothing! , has empty pockets.
a girl shares his photograph, holding her so close you could smell the paper she was made of.
a lover was here, the lips don't move, kiss dried worms in fresh roses.
Face down in grey waters, a rising and dying god, empty of soul.
war poet apart shows a lack of simile, he simply stinks and rots, glimmering.
I envy his insight, to find death before sleep, death in forgotten places, know the experience continue to write.
I read the War Verses:
dead boys alive,
buried flag and still wind in voices.
I read the war verses:
casting of absent drums,
echo of nameless trumpets
This warrior of Empire farewell, recited soldier out of place with his poems of Christian failure and dying no death.
bitter cliches of pale angels and Englishmen,
brambles in Khaki mouldering.
We shall only forget them
make better slaughter of the years, remain all visual.
compose new words for hymnal apocalpyse.
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