Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NaPoWriMo #23

Today's prompt at Poetry Thursday is "sheen"

I find myself thinking of Byron:

and the sheen on their spears was like stars on the sea
when the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee

- a favourite poem when I was younger.

Not being Byron, I had to come up with something else. In the end I settled on the following, as it is Anzac Day in New Zealand:

He talked real fancy, our sergeant,
never told us to polish our boots
like the others -
"burnish them to a sheen, boys"
he said, "I want to see the sheen".
So we polished the boots and the buckles
and the buttons to a sheen, and drilled
with our wooden bayonets,
till we got off the ships
and they gave us real ones
and we burnished them to a sheen, too.
Then we marched through the dust
of the country roads, and the villagers cheered
then we marched through the rain and the mud
and we sat in the trenches, till the order came
to go over the top. Our boots were caked
and heavy with mud, the bullets were flying,
the men were falling all round,
and I caught one through the leg
and lay in the mud and the blood and the stench
waiting, hoping, to be rescued
before they finished me off
and the only sheen I seen anywhere
was an oil slick on a puddle
and the wings of the flies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this poem has me in tears. it's moved me so much that i have put a link to it up on my blog. wow and thank-you