“Uesugi”

 

Break us, bring your life to bear.
Be a new foe, rise up against me.
Fall and all is mine. You did. I wept.

You muttered your life’s glory
over small alcoholic cups.

“Inheritance”

broken pens, burned papers
some stories mostly untold

he watched a train
stopped, salvoed rain
peppered around,
pluming towers of mud.

he grabbed a second gun,
running through the black
hiding in holes, bringing
the day – he gave back
the wrong one, got fined.

he lost a son to war,
some years later.

some memoirs, a medal,
old memories – quiet.

“Forested Arms”

through bark and bough
bursting, demanding
light speckled leaves
fast-growing saxifrage
garlands gladly given,
hoisted around shoulders
which once bore rifle stocks
blooms keep blood at bay,
pressed into wounds
hereto unnoticed; trees
older than bullets break,
blasting splinters through air
cutting flowers and faces

he stops and drops his gun,
propped against a dying oak,
then walks, bloodstained
boots crunching leaves,
into forested arms.

“Stone Soldier”

Beneath the cold grasp of winter
I run along the smooth stonework
till I reach the statue again.

White stone soldier reaching upward,
both of his hands grasping the hilt
of a sword carved but never used.

His armour, resplendent silver
chiselled into a warlike shape
to protect from the elements.

He stands, in line with his brothers
to fight back the encroaching dead
and force away the souls of dmeons.

The stone slowly grinds down to dust
which catches away on the wind
and burns away our soldiers face:

An age of service soon forgotten.