Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Grim Reminder to White Zombie 
Down one street flows a grim reminder 
Down another street walks the grim reminders 


Grim Reminder (villanelle) 

You see the river flowing down the street
I turn away pretending it’s not there
It is the grim reminder of defeat
-
Although I hide I hear my son repeat
The fear which is broadcasted everywhere
You see the river flowing down the street
-
In silence do I let him future meet
As life to serve our country he does swear
It is the grim reminder of defeat
-
With every letter to refuge retreat
His words an echo of the daily fare
You see the river flowing down the street
-
Another night of bombings I must greet
As even dreams retell the whole affair
It is the grim reminder of defeat
-
With failure to do anything complete
As blood of my dear son I’m forced to bear
You see the river flowing down the street
It is the grim reminder of defeat


A father must bear the result of his failure to do anything are the waves of this villanelle. Villanelles  look complicated but they're really not. If you are interested in trying your hand at on go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villanelle. In this villanelle the final lines act as echoes. Something is wrong but the answer does come until the end. 

I am against war, as I know we all are. This poem is not about me. I was very involved with youth groups. One of my fathers was very vocal about President George W. Bush. He didn't like him. At every big event we got the privilege (not) of listening to this father's complaints about the president. When the boy turned 18 he joined the army. We found this out because the father continued to attend events when his son left for training. Evidently the father was unaware of his son's intentions. When President Bush went off with Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, that was all this father talked about. He thought there was something else going on. When war broke out, the son was sent to fight in Iraq. He came back badly wounded (he was wheelchair bound). The father was even more wounded. In his mind: All that he did was complain. He didn't even know of his son's intentions to join the military.Every time he looks at his son he is reminded of all the things he didn't do. This villanelle is about the defeat of a father and of a nation. 

As a Mason, I am discourage from personally talking about politics except if it involve the public schools. (Politic tends to make people fight.) I can encourage others to get involved. With that said; A great deal of my success with my fund raising activities was due to my personal appearances. When it came to the public schools, I had to add phone calls, letters and attending board of education and city supervisors meetings. As citizens, we should all vote at all elections. It is my opinion: if person doesn't vote, they shouldn't complain about the outcome of an election. The political process doesn't end at voting. Sometimes we have to contact our leaders. "But I am just one voice. What difference will that make?' A lot of people think that. Enough people that one phone call or letter represents many. Get some other people involved and 10 become 100's, 100's become 1,000's. There might be others, who share our beliefs. Organize. There may be marches or protests. Even if we cannot attend or participate, we should show our support. In our political system, there is so much more we can do. Keep this in mind: We can fight or we can improve. Together, we can do so much more. I saw what a group of people did for the public schools. I know what we can accomplish, if we try. Exorcise our rights. Be an active part of a positive change. See the difference we can make and Enjoy.


A song for our heroes: Johnny Horton "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" 

If we thought zombies were bad 


The idea of a walking, shuffling undead being first came into western civilization's horrified consciousness with the publication of a jarring 1929 novel by William Seabrook called "The Magic Island". As if these monsters weren't horrible enough, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have discovered another layer of disgust about these abominations. 
What can be worse than a zombie? "Key & Peele - White Zombies" 


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What a cruel thing war is... to fill our hearts 
with hatred instead of love for our neighbors. 
Robert E. Lee


 

38 comments:

  1. This was simply surperb to read Martin.
    It makes one stop in one's track to think about what war does to people and the world. Well done.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. A superb compliment. Appreciate that this moved you.

      Delete
  2. The ooze today is from Mosul, but the war (and this poem) is evermore. How can a father instruct a son in this bloody, useless business?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What should disturb us the most is "collateral" damage. But I see a future of peace.
      Thank you for setting our thoughts.

      Delete
  3. This villanelle is about the defeat
    of a father and of a nation.

    Very eloquent Martin. One squirmed at the deceit invoked in justifying the war The sad thing, both sides suffered casualties - for what?

    Hank

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment.
      War is indeed useless. I believe businesses will find a greater profit in peace.

      Delete
  4. I'm with you on the Political talk. I try not to talk to much politics either. however, for me its mainly because I'm not smart enough to defend myself on the subjects and I hate fighting.
    Lisa

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I don't think it has anything to do with being "smart". Maybe you're too smart.
      Thank you

      Delete
  5. The form of villanelle looks easy on the surface but to write one that really gels is difficult. You have produced a very fine example of the form on a topic which hangs upon the lips of the world at present. And asks the question: How do we tell our children that they have been born into a world of conflict.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How does one respond to such a wonderful compliment but by simply saying thank you.
      Let us turn our attention toward the final conflict. "war is nonprofitable"

      Delete
  6. Together towards a common goal sure can get more done indeed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said it and many have proven it.
      Thank you

      Delete
  7. Such heavy wisdom here. . . . Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It is a pleasure to have you say so

      Delete
  8. What an eloquent and thought provoking post. In your poem, I was especially drawn to the words "With every letter to refuge retreat
    His words an echo of the daily fare"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for leaving such high words.
      Glad that you enjoyed

      Delete
  9. I think the people who stay at home are often as damaged by war as the combatants.
    A very sad villanelle...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're right. Furthermore, I think it is criminal for these victims to be used. (Sometimes falsely)
      Thank you for bringing this out.

      Delete
  10. A powerfully framed message wrapped in a well written verse.I wish I shared your faith in the end of wars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment and your belief in the brighter future to come.

      Delete
  11. Oh I am the same! I do not like war!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peace is coming, Look around you
      Thank you for the sunshine

      Delete
  12. i hate war. somber poem and reflection about somber realities! I agree with the quote at the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, you are such an inspiration.
      Thank you for every word on your site.

      Delete
  13. Well said, be the change you want to see in the world...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least we tried (and oh, we can do so much.)
      Thank you for the visit

      Delete
  14. You see the river flowing down the street
    It is the grim reminder of defeat..............great way to put that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. So gratified that you were moved.

      Delete
  15. Don't care for war. Those of us who have never been to war do not understand and never will those who have been to war. That is the same as anything, then everyone goes through 'things' differently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for bringing out these very valuable and important truths.

      Delete
  16. War has been around since man learned how greed and power could overtake the weak, causing the scale of balance to tip either way. It also disrupts our right to a peaceful existence.

    A strong poem with a message Martin!

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    Replies
    1. I joke about America's secret weapon - McDonald's. We are invading China. Now there's a war...
      Thank you for all your support

      Delete
  17. "With failure to do anything complete
    As blood of my dear son I’m forced to bear
    You see the river flowing down the street
    It is the grim reminder of defeat"
    True that!! War is the essence of dehumanisation. It renders all human beings as objects - as merely means to ends, in the ultimate sense, via a vis death. A poignant poem, Martin. Wow!

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    Replies
    1. So fulfilling that this caught your interest
      Thank you for your meaningful input

      Delete
  18. Hello, I am so against war. I am proud of our brave soldiers defending our country but, scared silly if my only son were to go to war. Lately war is all about greed, I wish for peace. Thanks for sharing the poem, it is an intense message. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Greed! I agree. In my way of thinking, there is far more is far more money to be made in building than there is in destruction. One day "they" will wake up.
      Thank you and enjoy the sunshine

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. Thank you for thinking so
      Nice to see you

      Delete