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Patriot Tales

The flag excuses everything
the story cast as fate
an unwavering crescendo rises
with that leaping body which delivers
the last significant shot

(a Hero through Godís grace
a Nation resolved in thundering steel)

And yet such ready tales defame
the lines of bones in shallow graves
unmarked, unnoticed, they were not
unmotivated or uncaring, their
owners simply overcome
by cacophony, chaos Ė a cruel reality
cut and left on the editing room floor

There is no room for everything, there is
nothing to contain each sweaty palm
difficult choice, failing device, raging temper
yet there is also no flag large enough
to cover the whole of our victorious waste.

(these brief, personal histories are ephemeral
-- we leave them --
to the howling wind, the seething sand or to sacred Mara:
into the bitter, restless, midnight sea
dissolved though not truly ever

"All the darkness in the world
cannot put out the light
of one candle"

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The following comments are for "Patriot Tales"
by hazelfaern

Liked the poem, though I thought "thundering steel" might be borderline cliche. But that could just be me. Otherwise, the end of the poem was quite nice, esp. the dissolved / absolved connection.

One thing you might consider adding: something about the flags drapsing the coffins of the dead--there seems to be a nice metaphor there, and that's a fairly current connection (if you've been watching the news lately).

( Posted by: macman202 [Member] On: April 23, 2004 )

Hey Mac
I was hoping the draped coffins would be understood in the lines "Yet there is also no flag large enough/ To cover the whole of our victorious waste."

I'm still not entirely sure about this poem, and will probably re-work it several times. But it was past the point of my being able to do anything with it, so I posted it for commentary.

Thanks for yours.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: April 24, 2004 )

Re: Coffins
Yeah, I can easily see how you covered the flag drapsing. Yet, I think it would be much more effective as an image--it has more power, to me, as an image (with a hint of metaphor) than as side reference. But that could just be me.

( Posted by: macman202 [Member] On: April 24, 2004 )

Really fine poem, Jennifer. Profound view, superbly put.

( Posted by: johnlibertus [Member] On: April 26, 2004 )

Re: Patriot Tales
This is a great piece that demonstrates a sublime grasp of the realities underpinning the trappings, the rhetoric and all the waving flags.

( Posted by: JamesRae [Member] On: April 27, 2004 )

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