Quotes July 31, 2020

“The Unknown Soldier

A tale to tell in bloody rhyme,
A story to last ’til the dawn of end’s time.
Of a loving boy who left dear home,
To bear his countries burdens; her honor to sow.
–A common boy, I say, who left kith and kin,

To battle der Kaiser and all that was therein.
The Arsenal of Democracy was his kind,
–To make the world safe–was their call and chime.
Trained he thus in the far army camps,
Drilled he often in the march and stamp.
Laughed he did with new found friends,
Lived they together for the noble end.

Greyish mottled images clipp’ed and hack´ed–
Black and white broke drum Ʀ…ɧ..λ..t…ʮ..m..ȿ
—marching armies off to ’ttack.
Images scratched, chopped, theatrical exaggerate,
Confetti parades, shouts of high praise
To where hell would sup and partake
with all bon hope as the transport do them take

Faded icons board the ship–
To steel them away collaged together
–joined in spirit and hip.

Timeworn humanity of once what was
To broker peace in eagles and doves.
Mortal clay in the earth but to grapple and smite
As warbirds ironed soar in heaven’s light.
All called all forward to divinities’ kept date,
Heroes all–all aces and fates.

Paris–Used to sing and play at some cards,
A common Joe everybody knew from own heart.
He could have been called ‘the kid’ by the ‘old man,’
But a common private now taking orders to stand.
Receiving letters from his shy sweet one,
Read them over and over until they faded to none.
Trained like hell with his Commander-in-Arms,
–To avoid the dangers of a most bloody harm.

Aye, this boy was mortal, true enough said,
He could be one of thousands alive but now surely dead.
How he sang and cried and ate the gruel of rations,
And grumbled as soldiers do at war’s great contagions.

Out–out to the battle this young did go,
To become a man; the world to show.

(An ocean away his mother cried so–
To return her boy safe as far as the heavens go).

Lay he down in trenched hole,
With balls bursting overhead upon the knoll.
Listened hardnfast to the “Sarge” bearing the news,
—“We’re going over soon—” was all he knew.

The whistle blew; up and over they went,
Charging the Hun, his life to be spent
(“Avoid the gas boys that’ll blister yer arse!!”).

Running through wires razored and deadened trees,
Fell he into a gouge to find in shelter of need
(They say he bayoneted one just as he–,
face to face in War’s Dance of trialed humanity).
A nameless sonnuvabitch shell then did untimely RiiiiiiiP
the field asunder in burrrstzʑ–and he tripped.
And on the field of battle’s blood did he die,
Faceless in a puddle as blurrs of ghosting men
shrieked as they were fleeing by–.

Perished he alone in the no man’s land,
Surrounded by an army of his brother’s teeming bands . . .

And a world away a mother sighed,
Listened to the rain and lay down and cried.

. . . Today lays the grave somber and white,
Guarded decades long in both the dark and the light.
Silent sentinels watch o’er and with him do walk,
Speak they neither; their duty talks.

Lone, stark sentries perform the unsmiling task,
–Guarding this one dead–at the nation’s bequest.
Cared over day and night in both rain or sun,
Present changing of the guard and their duty is done
(The changing of the guard ’tis poetry motioned
A Nation defining itself–telling of
rifles twirl-clicking under the intensest of devotions).

This poem–of The Unknown, taken thus,
Is rend eternal by Divinity’s Iron Trust.
How he, a common soldier, gained the estate
Of bearing his countries glory unto his unknown fate.
Here rests in honored glory a warrior known but to God,
Now rests he in peace from the conflict path he trod.
He is our friend, our family, brother, our mother’s son
–belongs he to us all,
For he has stood in our place–heeding God’s final call.”
Douglas Laurent