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Three Poems

muses [1]379 words


Surrender? There is no surrendering
For us. It might look like it to you, but
Know that for us this is neverending,
This battle for the soul of the world. What
You think of us is of no concern to
Us, think us vanquished, or beaten, think that
We are no longer a threat to you who
Would place a boot upon on our necks. Catch at
Our perceived weaknesses, our approaching
Dusk . . . do what you like. We do not concede
Defeat; we have not surrendered. Nothing
Can make us do that. There is nothing we need
Except our will, and that cannot be lost.
Everything else is merely earthbound dross.

Per Aspera Ad Astra

We rise. Perhaps imperceptibly. Still
We rise despite this world. It is not in
Us to languish like lesser people will,
We were not made for that. Anger wears thin,
Impatience grates, anxiety and its
Twin, regret, do nothing but make us lose
Sleep. Leave such things to the common masses
Festering in their hopelessness — they chose
To do nothing to improve their fate. We
Rise. Every one of us, no matter how
Long it takes, how hard the climb; if need be
We pass the torch, but we do not allow
It to fall away from who we are, and
Who we will be. We rise. And then we stand.

(a poem that seems to fall apart but does not)

We spent the winter fighting. Long cold nights
On empty stomachs, marching under skies
That waited for the rightful sun to dawn
While blood and bullets marked the days. Twilight
Of the Gods? Don’t make us laugh. We despised
Cheap sentiment like that—we carried on
Despite heroic visions, doing what
We had to do. There’s no grand design in
Soldiering in snow. Only feet that ached
With freezing, chapped hands too cold to close. Not
Enough lining in our tunics, we’d been
Issued our gear in the spring. Soldiers make
Do with what they can. We thought that we would
Win, at any rate. But even though we
Fought with honor and even though we fought
For Folk, we didn’t . . .
Now it’s understood
We were defeated because the enemy
Was right. What lies! It’s just what you’ve been taught.