Holy Brokenness

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Missing the wildness of my younger self
I degenerate into words. Waiting, between
sentences, for the muse to catch up with me,
I fulminate, flash like lightning, explode;
So that I catch myself thinking this
Is all an act to compensate for the time
Brian climbed that tree before disappearing
To Japan, for all eternity. O! I wish Haiku was true.
An apple blossom flash of inspiration
To cancel out the impure repetitiveness
Of so-much empty rhetoric –
Those who claim the mantle of Bertolt Brecht
So easily forget that every human life is sacred - 
Even those whose opinions you despise.
Open up your eyes to the holy imperfections,
That make us love all that is frail, human, broken.


◄ Bright star

September's rain ►


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keith jeffries

Sat 5th Sep 2020 10:32


Your work with pen and ink are an example to many on how to delve into the art of poetry and draw from it even more than can be initially read. Keith Douglas, a poet of immense potential was never able to realise his talent. My father, too was a tank commander, in Burma where his tank was brewed and he escaped with a leg wound and evacuated back to India and thence to the UK where he arrived in 1944. He would never speak of his wartime experiences. Never were we as children permitted to watch wartime documentaries on the television. For him the war had become a closed book.

He would spend his evenings at home by the fire, smoking his pipe, reading Robert Service, Kipling or A E Houseman. In his final days he was able to speak a little about being in Burma. Many a tear glazed his eyes as he spoke. I never pressed him for any more.

Thank you again

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John Marks

Fri 4th Sep 2020 21:31

Thank you, dear Keith, for reading my work so assiduously and so generously. I am humbled by your recognition. So often, these days, I find myself in tears, for no particularly discernible reason. I think it is to do with how far how society has drifted from a full recognition of the debt we owe to the sacrifices made by the British men, and it was mostly men, between the years 1914-18 and between the years 1939-1945. Shame on us.

Vergissmeinnicht* by Keith Douglas

Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's decayed.

But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye
and the burst stomach like a cave.

For here the lover and killer are mingled
who had one body and one heart.
And death who had the soldier singled
has done the lover mortal hurt.

* - Forget-me-not

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keith jeffries

Fri 4th Sep 2020 15:33


Thank you for this poem which so clearly reminds us of our relationships with others who are vulnerable and perhaps not those we would normally care for. The last four lines sum up how we should endeavour to be in respect of all those we encounter..


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