Starlingrad

Up on a hill

Joseph kept watch

The bend in the river below sunlit

Chromium plated

Polished

A coiled snake between meadows

Murmuring with contoured malcontent

Slowly

Slickly

Slovenly

He wandered the graves with Malice

The Dog of War at heel salivating

Pawing the mud for bones

And feathers

Until

 

At last light

In February’s awakening

When the snow had settled

And the fighting ceased

The sky filled the ruins below

With wonderment

Upon every shattered casement

Shelled and hulled obituaries gathered

The shadow ghosts

Iridescent souls

Brought together to roost

One last time

Before

 

Chattering to the heavens

They fled

On morning’s mist

To be seen no more

Home Schooling

I don’t like the smell of these candles! said Peter.

It’s all I could get hold of, his mother replied.

They smell of sick and dead things!

When is the electricity coming back on?

I don’t know Peter. When it can, I suppose.

 

Peter and his Mum sat huddled together,

Curled up under blankets on the comfy sofa,  

Watching the TV that would never work.

Not without electricity. The candle flickered,

A reflection in a screen of blankness.

 

When is Jane coming home? asked Peter.

Your sister has found a new home, mother replied.

Is it up in Heaven? asked Peter.

Yes dear, I’m sure it is. Mother smiled.

Did she take her arms and legs with her?

 

Outside the street was deserted,

Ominous thunder shook the world.

Peter imagined it wasn’t thunder.

He imagined his Dad up there somewhere,

Like Jane, but in a different way.

 

No school again tomorrow, said his Mum,

We have to go fetch water, find some food.

I’m hungry! said Peter, and bored!

I know, said his Mum, I know.

This game’s not fun anymore!

 

home-schooling

our place

we need to come a little closer
a little closer even still
understand what we are saying
the words    the meanings
the wherewithal.

we need to talk a little softer
whispers rather than shouts
understand our brothers and sisters
their cultures    beliefs
what makes them laugh out loud.

we need some more compassion
holding hands not dropping bombs
understand the fallout damage
in our minds    our hearts
our children’s wounds.

we need a new revolution
in a world that sets us free
understand our future evolution
peace    love    and unity
a lasting hope for you and me.

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(original artist unknown. From a display on Worthing pier May 2016, West Sussex, UK. Photograph by Colin Hill. I seem to have lost my thread of connections between posts and poems and lost myself in peace poetry. I guess the world needs some more of that right now. Where are all those 60’s poets when you need them most? Make love not war! Bread not bombs! Give peace a chance!)