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Poetry Magnum Opus

Charleston


dedalus
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Regard the gimcrack jalousies of the jaded south

whence come cries of anguish rolling over the plain.

Grandparents will outlive their children’s children

and mothers, hollow-eyed, will take to their beds.

The War, say the living, is over! But it will never

be over for the dead, blank-eyed, rotting in the fields.

 

The cause was no sudden desire for fame or freedom;

just the more normal urge for greed to seek advantage.

Very few lives would be transformed by final victory;

and very many lives simply ceased to continue. Alas!

keen the warriors’ wives, their mothers and sisters, their

daughters … and even their fifty-cent scarlet women.

 

That such a thing should be. That such an awful thing

should be allowed to continue. It will always continue

as long as spring and autumn rains fall down on this earth,

as long as tides rise and fall under their distant mistress,

as long as lovers maintain their close understandings

and keep a flame burning amid all demand and excess.

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

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Says it all, and I am (by birth, not temperament) a southerner:

 

gimcrack jalousies of the jaded south

 

Bravo. Pointed, direct, not malicious.

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