John Pepper Clark (The Casualties) Poem by African Poems

John Pepper Clark (The Casualties)

Rating: 3.0


 The casualties are not only those who are dead.
 They are well out of  it.
 The casualties are not only those who are dead.
 Though they await burial by installment.
 The casualties are not only those who are lost
 Persons or property, hard as it is
 To grope  for a touch that some
 May not know is not there.
 The casualties are not only those led away by night.
 The cell is a cruel place, sometimes a haven.
 No where as absolute as the grave.
 The casualties are not only those who started
 A fire and now cannot put out. Thousands
 Are are burning that have no say in the matter.
 The casualties are not only those who are escaping.
 The shattered shall become prisoners in
 A fortress of falling walls
 
 The casualties are many, and a good member as well
 Outside the scenes of ravage and wreck;
 They are the emissaries of rift,
  So smug in smoke-rooms they haunt abroad,
  They do not see the funeral piles
  At home eating up the forests.
  They are wandering minstrels who, beating on
  The drums of the human heart, draw the world
  Into a dance with rites it does not know.
 
The drums overwhelm the guns…
Caught in the clash of counter claims and charges
 When not in the niche others left,
 We fall.
 All casualties of the war.
 Because we cannot hear each other speak.
 Because eyes have ceased the face from the crowd.
 Because whether we know or
 Do not the extent of wrongs on all sides,
 We are characters now other than before
 The war began, the stay-at-home unsettled
 
 By taxes and rumours, the looters for office
 And wares, fearful everyday the owners may return.
 We are all casualties,
 All sagging as are
 The cases celebrated for kwashiorkor.
 The unforseen camp-follower of not just our war.
 

Friday, August 8, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: war
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Kayode Are 02 August 2018

A timeless poem. The verses apply beyond Civil War to the struggle for democracy and politics. The casualties are many, not only the dead, but the living inclusive, most beyond the battlefield.

3 0 Reply
Mamus Degreat Ejeba 09 September 2018

Add a comment.These are timeless and evergreen poems of all times.

3 0 Reply
Mamus Degreat Ejeba 09 September 2018

Add a comment.These are timeless and evergreen poems of all times.

1 0 Reply
Abimbola Ogunsowobo 16 June 2018

Very good I love this

1 0 Reply
Michael Ordia 02 July 2018

This is lovely. I love this poem

1 0 Reply
Sani Kabir Muhammad 29 December 2021

This poem portrays the clear picture of Nigeria civil war and its consequences. This poem is really great

1 0 Reply
Chidubem 03 November 2020

A clear picture of insight.

0 0 Reply
Nweke peter T 31 October 2020

The all day fresh poem kudos to you J P Clark

2 0 Reply
Charles Gilbert 16 October 2020

RIP literary icon

0 0 Reply
Olasoju OLASUNKANMI funsho 14 October 2020

RIP JP CLARK.

1 0 Reply
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