Category Archives: war

The Bold And The Beautiful – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Bold – RDP Monday

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Photo: the guardian.co.uk

 

 

The Bold And The Beautiful

Our lives are so overfull with every possible indulgence,
it’s not that we need to choose anything in a broad sense
but we do like to finesse the provenance
of absolutely everything
in our backyard,
meanwhile,
there are bullets and bombs
that we acquiesced in our silence,
choices we made for the faceless
without consent,
buying their compliance,
while we simply carry on
the burden of our overload,
meanwhile,
did you hear about the kid that stopped the tanks?
Or the woman who shamed the soldiers in the square?
Or the students who put flowers in guns?
Do you know the provenance,
the exact place,
the temp.,
the sugar content,
the weave,
the altitude,
the who,
of the bold and the beautiful?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

27 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, war

Take Flight – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Flight – RDP Sunday

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Photo: independent.co.uk

“From age 6 to 12, I lived in seven different countries, moving from one refugee camp to another, hoping we would be wanted.”  Clemantine Wamariya

 

Take Flight

Their guns,
it is always their guns,
we have no guns of our own,
Their guns are menacing,
and their words are spite and spittle,
we are suspicion incarnate,
despised and rejected we must take flight.
We are diaspora to the world,
our minds are broken down,
our hearts are ever restless for home,
but our feet seek places of hope,
and people of peace.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

30 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, Indigenous, life, poem, quote, war

I Said I’d Be Home For Christmas – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

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Image courtesy of Pacific Paratrooper

I Said I’d Be Home For Christmas

I heard it before I saw it,
an ancient sound,
a single engine piper,
that was in descent to the frozen field,
then I saw it,
bright yellow,
it yawed to one side as it hit the snow,
and corrected to a fine halt.
Some old guy clambered out,
a picture of an era gone,
leather bomber jacket
straight out of 42.
My mother holding the door frame,
gasped,
they threw themselves at each other
with sobs and kisses,
the long silence punctuated with:
secret ops,
Burma,
hopelessly lost,
but I said I’d be home for Christmas,
Honey, she said,
its ten years gone,
Well, he said,
a promise is a promise.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

 

40 Comments

Filed under challenge, Free Verse, life, love, poem, war

I Hope Someone Remembers – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

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Photo: https://media.iwm.org.uk/ciim5/36/103/large_000000.jpg

A World War 1 trench, not quite the Hyatt, Hilton or whatever, way beyond my experience.

I Hope Someone Remembers

Trenches could not be loved,
they were open tombs,
flooded, muddied, with
congealed wire garlands and
sodden timber treads,
and the stench of the living dead all round,
their sunken eyes testimony to
the glue of resignation and guilt.
Our feet blackened for love of country,
our minds already lost
in battles of their own,
Dante’s Inferno come to life,
with the sting of gas and metallic chatter,
always the thudding, crumping, shells
that shake our bones
and reshape our vision.
Our thoughts occasionally turn to
going home, could it be?
But that thought is scotched
as machine guns lace the air,
and the referee’s whistle calls play,
all the while the unrelenting cries
of death and pain rain down.
No more to hold a hand or taste her lips,
no more to cup her breast or hold her close,
what chance of laughter, to share life’s joys?
But then I dare not think of her,
such thoughts have no place here,
they could hold me in this tomb.
The whistle resounds,
my bayonet gleams,
a macabre accessory,
one I may yet wear.
Ladders ready,
up we go,
king and country,
I hope someone remembers us.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

49 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, history, life, war

The Forge Of Vikings – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Fjord – Word of the Day

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Photo: norway.nordicvisitor.com

 

 

The Forge Of Vikings

There was a time,
long before we breathed in this place,
when the sea had cleft our mountains,
and before long, we rested there,
our souls forged of its very nature.
Then the sea and the oak formed a pact,
and the long boat came to be,
together we made our way across the seas.
At home we were blacksmiths, farmers, woodsmen,
but on foreign shores we were beserkers,
fearless, bringers of terror and death
as we plundered our way into history,
all the while the fjords a fire in our souls.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

27 Comments

Filed under life, poem, poetry, war

Surrender

Alliance – Word of the Day pexels-photo-1246960.jpeg

Photo: pexels.com

Surrender

Across the trench I see you readying to make a move,
the flares go up, a sure sign,
a prelude to a barrage,
the whoosh of shells and chatter of guns,
staccato, a painful beauty.
The shouting,
the frenzy,
down comes the wire,
the whites of their eyes,
that moment of surrender.
And, just as soon, comes the silence,
as before, so afterwards,
ordnance expended, tension eased.
Now we hold each other prisoner
the distance is closed,
an alliance begins,
in this tortuous war we call love,
where no one wins
and everyone loses together.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

16 Comments

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Free Spirits

Renegade – Word of the Day

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Ani Pachen (1933 – 2002), better known as the Warrior Nun, a Tibetan freedom fighter. She was captured by the Chinese army in 1959 and held until 1981 – 21 years in prison, she was 48 yrs old. She continued to oppose Chinese occupation of Tibet and took part in rallies and protests, fleeing to India in 1989 because she was facing arrest yet again.

Free Spirits

We apprehended futility and held it as our own,
never stopping to think of consequence.
Logic held no sway,
there was no song,
the soil of our hearts rooted no doctrine,
myths and legends were our truths.
We slept in the open and spoke in ravines,
ate haute cuisine from tins,
punished our fantasies and banished our doubts
as we passed through Falkirk, Culloden, Lexington,
and struggled at Eureka,
countered in Prague,
threw out shoes in Manila and turned orange in Kiev.
We played with protest,
shouldered riot and uprising,
captured yet not imprisoned,
we remained free spirits held by passion,
undaunted, determined.
Our very breath was inviolate,
this was our victory,
to be present.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

27 Comments

Filed under history, life, Philosophy/Theology, poetry, politics, war

Spring Is In The Air

Zealous – Word of the Day

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Photo: dailynewshungary.com

One person’s liberator is another persons dictator. The end of National Socialism in 1945 (well, temporary end) saw the liberating Soviet army take control of Eastern Europe. But the Soviet proved to be as unpalatable as the Nazis, and hence a number of attempted coups and uprisings, especially the one in Hungary 23 October – 10 November 1956, where a student protest turned into a people’s uprising. The students were indeed zealous for change, and their zeal inspired others to rise up with them. The uprising was sadly crushed by the overwhelming might of the Soviet army. October the 23 is now a national holiday in Hungary.

 

Spring Is In The Air

Khaki is not my colour,
I crave pastels, boldness, whites.
Steel grey is so depressing,
like never ending winter,
the threat of cold death,
faces lost,
love buried.
Truth is everywhere, that’s how
Newspeak lobotomizes.
Apparatchiks, whose fetid lies,
like open sewers,
Are a stench and a stain
on flesh and blood,
like bruises and broken bones
their words crush souls.
Your flags do not warm me,
they are but a noose,
a suicide note to history.
But we stand together
preferring death to misery,
no acquiescent autumn
rather, to be spring
to be fertile possibility.
So we wave at you and smile,
a smile your scowl cannot quell.
Our solitary prayer,
that your bullets will be poppies
and your tanks be doves.
That you will at last surrender,
not to us,
but to your true selves,
to humanity,
and kiss your distorted “I” goodbye.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

27 Comments

Filed under history, life, poetry, politics, war

Dangerous Game

Spying – Word of the Day

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Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod (nee Zelle) better known by her stage name Mata Hari (1876 – 1917), who was convicted by the French as a German spy during WW1. Historians have since demonstrated that she was betrayed by all, her lover, the French officers who recruited her, the justice system (an oxymoron if ever there was one), her fellow spies and others. She was convicted and executed even though there was no substantive evidence, other than that they said it was because as a woman she could not be trusted and she would use her wiles. She was indeed a victim, a scapegoat.

Dangerous Game

I was lost in your face,
your eyes sparkled
laughter like champagne.
You reeled me in,
my small talk generously indulged,
I thought one drink would cure my curiosity.
Besides, I had work to do,
family waiting.
But you had other plans,
your hand on mine
stroking.
Me all gibberish,
pulse racing,
I agreed.
Just how did you do that?
Furtive,
room 20,
you draped on the ottoman,
gold, bejewelled bra,
tiara.
Salome unveiled.
Beguiled, seduced,
I gave you my all.
My French for German,
secrets, unzipped,
pleasure washed over me
in waves of guilt.
Whispers exchanged,
I woke alone, betrayed.
Even so, for just one more touch,
I would trade anything.

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

29 Comments

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The Beginning’s Never As Important

Placate – Word of the Day

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Photo: histclo.com

Neville Chamberlain (1869 – 1940) British Prime Minister 1937 – 1940, whose name is synonymous with appeasement. His first attempt was to keep Britain out of the Spanish Civil War in the hope of winning favour with Italy. His second was an attempt to buy favour with Italy in order to sway them from German influence, by recognising Italian sovereignty over Ethiopa. His third attempt was over three trips to Germany in an attempt to stop Hitler invading the rest of Czechoslovakia, caving in to most of Hitler’s demands. However, at the same time he escalated British military spending, production, and training, while forming alliances and pacts, notably with Poland, so, he wasn’t completely innactive in preparation.

Chamberlain’s main modus operandi was in trying to placate Hitler and Mussolini in order to prevent a major war in Europe. The famous moment was when he gave a speech, while waving the agreement with Hitler to honour the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia, speaking of “Peace with honour” a line he borrowed from Benjamin Disraeli, and “Peace for our time” (which is invariably misquoted as “Peace in our Time”). But history shows that Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement failed miserably, as Winston Churchill had predicted.

 

The Beginning’s Never As Important

I’m not sure where it began,
though you always say that doesn’t matter.
The beginning’s never as important as the end.

But my my mouth threw words like bullets on concrete,
hard, indiscriminate wounds
that imperilled our very being.

I tried to trace the history of the world,
and you retreated to foreign climes.
“I’m out of here if that’s how it is!”

I stared at the floor, my honour defended,
truth the ego’s demand.
While an ocean of tears formed a gulf between us.

The shadows grew long as the clock struck an hour.
Like metal on metal,
my nerves all jangled and churned.

In the embers of light I glimsed your face,
your cheekbones, your eyes, seemed soft.
I sank in your ocean and surrendered myself.

You welcomed me ashore,
embracing a long, lost friend.
And we dressed each other’s wounds.

“I feel so … when you … I do too, I’m sorry I …”
History resolved, the future imperative,
the beginning’s never as important as the end.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

17 Comments

Filed under politics, quote, war