Hello to another writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, in continuation with the a-z challenge I am currently undertaking, today’s poet’s name begins with the letter J, and he is someone some of you might be familiar with- john McCrae. The poem for today is called “in Flanders fields’ and it is about the First World War. It was written after the death of the author’s friend.
The first stanza of the poem talks about the dead lying in Flanders fields, and how the sounds of blazing guns have drowned the noises of the flies. The second stanza goes on to the describe the dead, who have lived and loved, now lain in Flanders field. The remarkable and different thing about this poem, for me, is the third stanza. Here, the author actually tells his mates to carry on with the war for the sake of the fallen, otherwise those dead would not rest in peace. This is a great contrast from several poets, who talk about the futility of war. Below is the poem, and feel free to share your thoughts on it.
In Flanders fields by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The ground trembles
As one, after another
Drops in succession,
While the night is enveloped
And the residents,
By a false sense of security
Night is for sleep.
The ground trembles,
And many do not awaken.
Many do not awaken-
The sky turns hazy,
It’s smoky, choky
The kids are crawling,
Crawling towards an escape
There is no escape-
The ground is trembling,
The atmosphere hazy,
Death is overtaking,
While the world is asleep.
In line with my blogging friends Jade (an elegy for them) and Maria (emc2) who have each written a beautiful tribute to the people of Syria who have been victims of a cowardly chemical attack. I consider the people of Syria as my family. My sisters and brothers. And we as writers will keep on writing about their plight and the atrocities against them until the day peace resides once again and we won’t have to.
The beautiful Syrian sunset above was taken by Debra Ellis
I Wish there was more I could do,
Put words in writing,
echoing the same thing,
over and over,
Let the children be children
In a land,
where the river’s turned red,
And the cries, of our young ones
Pierce, the atmosphere-
Pleading for mercy.
And I wish,
my voice held the strength
every person with the power
To make, a difference
And bring, the bloodbath
To an end.
And I wish, My heart was
As the ocean, to absorb
Your pain, so you won’t
Have to carry, this grief
On your own.
How I wish,
There was more I could do,
Than put words in writing.
prompt: I wish I could (for December Poetry Challenge). So far, this prompt was the most uninspiring one yet for me. My heart goes out to the victims of the current crisis going on in Aleppo (Syria).
The above image is courtesy of if.LovedThispic.com
For the kids with stone as their weapon,
The sky as their roof;
Bloodshed a daily occurrence,
Freedom to live besieged;
For the kids whose tears fall unnoticed,
Voices hoarse from cries;
Struck from every angle,
Their innocence dimming.
For the mother who buries lifeless bodies,
Of children she’s outliving;
One whose milk has dried from hunger,
While her newborn is weeping;
For the ones who dread the sun at daybreak,
For the onslaught it brings forth;
I say, is it worth it fighting-
The ones with stone as their weapon.
photo credit: taken by Peter Biro/ IRC
When I awoke, the sun had begun to set and Ahmed wasn’t back yet. An uneasy feeling in the way only a seven year old could explain come to my mind, and I had racing thoughts of Ma and Baba. The events of the afternoon felt unreal and the thought of home clouded my judgement. In that moment, I forgot everything Ahmed told me and instead raced as fast as my legs could carry me towards the direction of home without glancing down.
As I got towards the main town gate, I stumbled; fell down and rolled over on things that felt like a mixture of cushion and wood. It was uncomfortable, not to add the skunky smell that filled the atmosphere. I managed to find my footing, stood up and took a look at the mattressy-wooden thing that I had rolled over on. Staring at the sight in front of me, I shrieked and screamed. My legs were numb, my hands shivering, tears flooding- I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Lying beneath my feet, in front of me where hundreds of bodies, draped in white with patches of red all over. This couldn’t happen in reality, no, I was only dreaming. For the first time since I had left school, I looked up and around me. To my right and left, men and boys with blood stained clothes were dragging bodies and dumping them at the edge of the already huge pile. Women were gathered together a little away from me, in clusters, weeping, sobbing loudly. Some were on the floor and rolling in tears, others were sitting with hands constantly flared up. Some of the women were seated, with babies clutched to their breasts, a blank expression on their faces- a lot of the women, I recognized. It seemed nobody noticed the little girl in brown skirts and a white shirt, ruffled thick black hair, standing behind a pile of dead bodies, shivering in fear with tear stained face. Too many lives had been lost that day for the living to be noticed. Humanity was lost in Baga, and that wasn’t the only thing lost sadly.