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Views of the Battlefield (Part V)

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V

“You could walk from one end of Bloody Lane to the other on dead soldiers and your feet would never touch the ground.”
Unknown Union Private

Antietam, 1862, CE
Today, you will count the dead –
grab, hoist, carry each man
and stack him on the appropriate side
of the bloody lane –
Yankee or Reb –
the stench of futility
carried to your lips by flies.
Take note
while choking back the bile –
any pattern of stars and stripes
looks the same on a grey field.




The Battle of Antietam was fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign. It was the first field army–level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil and at present remains the bloodiest day in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing. Read more HERE

For Hedgewi…

iNkwazi

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say them like your soul
was listening and overhearing
and you dreamed you dreamed
you were a river
Al Purdy




The dream begins at the place of elephants
KwaGingindlovu, Gingindlovu
and you journey south to the banks
of a wide river in Africa
aMatikulu, Matigulu.
You spread your arms wide
and soar on the wings of the fish eagle
the green of bush and hill
undulates far below
you follow the pale ribbon of sand
the ocean, far to the east
until you find another river
giver of big surprises
uThukela, Tugela.
In your sleep, your bird flight
you recognize the topography of home
and you feel the piercing cry
expelled from your throat
in three descending notes
Zinkwazi, Nkwazi
and you turn like a spear
thrown by a warrior
diving to earth
with all the names you love
whistling past
carried on a whispering wind
uMgeni, Mbokodweni
Msimbazi, Mgababa
until you arrive at the place of whale cows
uMkhomakazi, uMkhomazi
and wake to dream again of Africa.



Sherry Blue Sky asks us to "Say the Names of the Pl…

Spiritwalker

When the blood of dawn’s wounds
pools in the valleys
and the wistful larksong scrapes the edge of sky
an ancient spirit wanders –
his only feature, despair
dripping from a crooked mouth –
not even the wild blue of crocuses
can change his bitter omen:
Pity the Spring.



For Get Listed: Poems in April Edition. I selected, primarily, the second horizontal line, but a few other words crept in.


Spiritwalker: one that can easily walk through the veil, as it is called, between the physical and spiritual realms.

Views of the Battlefield (Part IV)

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IV

"…so great was the undisciplined violence and pressure of the mass of men behind them that the living fell on top of the dead, and others falling on top of the living were killed as well."
Gesta Henrici

Agincourt, 1415 CE
You have made your confession
on St Crispin’s day
and taken up your stand
with your band of brothers –
who notch and draw
six thousand arrows as one
and loose
a murmuration of gimlet-eyed birds
to swoop and peck –
dead on top of living on top of dead.




The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. The battle took place on 25 October 1415, Saint Crispin's Day. It was one of the most important English triumphs in the conflict. England's victory at Agincourt against a numerically superior French army crippled France, and assured the necessity of long range weapons in the field of battle. (Read More)


In continuation of the series of poems: Views of the Battlefield (Parts I - III)

Views of the Battlefield (Parts I - III)

People disappear when they die.
Diane Setterfield



I
Jericho, 1400 BCE
The enemy circles
but you have walled yourself in
barred the gate
in defence of
all that is yours by right
of occupation –
Invaders do not answer
to law but annihilate
in the name of god
and greed –
Still you seek comfort
in memory
even as your mortal foe
builds new barricades with your bones.




For April 13 - 13 is Poetry, with words taken from the excerpt of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

The Friday 55 is hosted by Hedgewitch at Verse Escape.

Jericho is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.  According to Biblical account, Israelites destroyed the Bronze Age wall of the city by walking around it with the Ark of the Covenant for seven days. On the final day, the Israelites under Joshua's command blew trumpets of rams' horns and shouted to make the walls fall down. This was the first battle in their conquest of Canaan. [Joshua 6: 14 – 15]





II

So long you keep the fruit, it will r…