Tuesday, July 1, 2014

POEM: "These Defended"

These Defended

                                ...and saved the sum of things for pay
                                     A.E. Housman (1914)

Restless, not knowing, we turn away
From what we are convinced is not real

Anguished, angry, wailing, taking the lie
To bed with us, wake and tell no one:

Keep no blanket, save none from burning.
Brook no curiosity about what set this fire.

We are iced. We cannot stop this shivering.
Every night we need remember how to sleep.

All spirits, does every dream have to stop?
The times can’t be sustained. We mustn’t hope.

It won’t do to suffer a reckless childhood.
Suffer the enemy, this battle, our selves.

Keeping a book, open up her look again
Mindful of your post, aghast, that memory.

Reversed, humbled, change is awkward.
Falling to the mud, miracle, day brings sun

Rubs our eyes with the eyes of some other
Sees the next second’s flash of thunder.

© 2014 Rob Schackne

1 comment:

  1. Those of you who spent a literate childhood may recall that during World War I Housman wrote "Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries", written about the terrible First Battle of Ypres (1914). While my poem owes little more to it than the title, you might wish to read his poem again.