Saturday, November 5, 2011

Writing in the Snow

     Snowstorms make a wonderful environment for writing. You can't leave the house even if you want to and nothing sparks the imagination more than millions of snowflakes blurring everything in sight.
     I've said before that poetry isn't exactly my strong suit, but I find it to be a great way to improve wording and brevity. One of my favorite forms of poems is the sestina, which I actually didn't know about until just under two years ago. The concept is that there are seven stanzas and the lines of the first six all end in the same six words. Keeping the poem interesting turns out to be quite difficult when you limit your vocabulary and you quickly learn to use the words in unique ways. I've posted two poems today, this one a sestina, and the other just a brief one I spent about an hour on earlier and pretty much threw words down. Not quite the attention they deserve, but hopefully they are fun nonetheless:

Father, Flag and Fortune

The old man exposed, his body at rest.
To not look away took all of our might.
Limp and lifeless, his mind did not work,
But we knew there was nothing else he could want
Than to be where he was if this day was his last.
It was for him to keep, not yours and not mine.

His father had worked shoveling coal from a mine,
His mother a sexton, who put dead to rest,
They were both drinkers, and he at long last
Decided to see the whole world if he might.
But scared that he would be helpless and want
He signed up for the Army, as he needed to work.

But fighting for freedom could never be work,
For freedom, he found himself eager to mine
From the clamping jaws of greed and want,
So his family and friends would be free to rest.
He and the soldiers flaunted their might
To ensure that the world they knew would last.

But on the battlefield he witnessed the last
Small piece of glory fade into work.
With one false step, war had shattered his might
For under his foot he had triggered a mine
In under a second his body at rest,
And being at home was all he could want.

His body was crippled and, of a mind, want.
Of moving or thinking he had known his last.
At least the dead were afforded their rest.
All but damned, he strained under the work
For his mind knew not your figure or mine.
Though we wished him to recall with all of our might.

We could not forget his unparalleled might
Though of memories of us, he was thoroughly want.
You said your grievances and I said mine,
But we knew our flowers would not last.
To keep from crying was impossible work,
When his soul, not ours, was the one at rest.

I held your hand and you held mine as we squeezed with all of our might
We could not rest with him unaware, but his peace was all we could want
His life had come to an end at last, and we would never forget his work.

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