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Poetry Magnum Opus

War


dedalus
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A few friendly farts around the table

do not come amiss, a new friendship starts

before language kicks in . Most of the lads

of whatever nation, of whatever station,

laugh at the same jokes. We are yokels.

Wars, I think, are made easy to start

because of male simplicity of the heart.

 

We need women to keep us sane,

balanced, keeping to the narrow lane

of things that matter. And as we become

older and fatter, the truth sinks in,

that it is young men with their flags unfurled,

heavy on the booze and with nothing to lose,

that make all the changes in the world.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Yes, Bren, we can't have war without adventurous youth with no view to the future. No getting fat for them! To your words, I don't think women keep us sane, rather they think less of us if we falter in signing on the dotted line. It's only our lives; what the hell. Truism here:

"the truth sinks in,

that it is the young men with their flags unfurled,

heavy on the booze and with nothing to lose,"

The truth is a cruel master. (Not original words, I'm sure).

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You complain about getting old from time to time but I think there is a blessing involved. It tends to give you a broader view of things. Provided your body doesn't conk out (my whole life nearly conked out on April 25 but I am convalescing, still on crutches, a bit too feisty for the wife's taste) and provided you don't live in a shithole neighbourhood where people prey on you, there's still quite a lot you can do. A great deal depends upon literacy and the ability to sort out your life experiences and see them from a sort of distance, entirely unlike the white-hot heat and relative ignorance and hope within which they were originally lived. I would suspect that you as well as I know many people who died violently before their allotted time, and can still see their faces at the odd moment of recollection. Why them and not me? There is no answer. The idea of being lucky covers everything and nothing: if that was the case my luck ran out on 4/25. But no, I survived! Therefore the luck was ultimately good? The Japanese have a proverb (不幸中幸いです... Fu-Kou-Chuu-Saiwai-desu) which translates as "in the midst of diasaster, good fortune". Many would not see things that way, but you need to keep your mind very hard and focussed. The old-time Japanese could do this and so can many of the Irish. So can anyone, really, with a military background or some other form of remembered discipline. A lot of this has been lost as with the softening of modern life in the more favoured or "advanced" societies people have grown to feel sorry for themselves and lay the blame for misfortune on others. This is basically stupid. Misfortune is random, and it remains as brutal as ever.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Interesting Brendan, Your poem still has the silvered tongue fluid rhythm of your vast body of work, but this and others lately seem more introspective. Not so much telling a story but sharing an Ah ha moment. Very Japanese in an Irish brogue. I like it.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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  • 1 month later...

Such a large subject (per the title) condensed to one interesting and substantial perspective. I'd call this thirty percent of war (the rest being the result of diabolical scheming by others who will never personally bear any cost of war).

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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