Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Wars

©  2012 Steve King
All rights reserved

Old wars began with the fog of incense,
screaming rams, weeping queens;
ships to sea, armors flashing to the sun,
reflecting gladness of the smiling gods
guiding armies to their onslaughts.
And then the cries attending butchery:
spent victors draped in gore, each one a deadly priest,
invoking well those mighty smiling ones
who parceled from the heights all precious days to die,
even at the hand of such another.

So Time unwinds the warriors’ thread,
Time, that even old gods learned to dread,
now wraps its glories in new gathered song.
But still the call of deadly priests invoking the stern one,
days to die awaiting yet, attending each new sun,
new rages to bring down the veil at last;
armor blackened with the smoke of shattering sacrifice,
proud ships grounded on the beaten sand,
sprawled broken-winged across the sand,
each day to die an eon of gnashing and lament,
the wars still ending as they all ever began:
one warrior at a time, all gallantry and banners and drums,
and incense curling round the weeping ones.


  1. Yeah times may change
    And the stuff used on the range
    But the simple truth remains
    That much war still rains

  2. i wish we could see the end of a few wars you know...time marches on and we still stand firmly stuck in them...i like the rather medieval feel to this though....

  3. You get to the bone of the death urge that lies like a dark shadow under our desire to excel and compete, no different than any animal's instinct to fight for power and females--animals just have the decency to do it one on one. I love the sense of some Homeric tale unfolding up into the clouds, than dashed to human level, 'broken-winged on the sand.." Yes, that's where it always ends, those last three lines. Fine work, Steve.

  4. the "heart" of war will always stay the same...and it's a sad repetition of things..well penned sir

  5. Unfortunately, war is threaded through history. I, too, like the medieval feel to this, but I hate war.

  6. War is harsh and devastating..great lines and I love these warrior at a time, all gallantry and banners and drums,
    and incense curling round the weeping ones.

  7. The image of the deadly priest sticks to my head ~ And war is never ending, then and now ~

    Enjoyed the lovely share teve ~

  8. I like the mythological touch to this work, Steve, tho I hate war and anything to do with it. Yet, agression, war is stamped into our DNA, methinks..."each day to die, an eon of gnashing and lament,the wars still ending as they all ever began: one warrior at a time...and incense curling around the weeping ones." Haunting imagry. Beautiful work!!

  9. And so, history repeats itself...
    Each side has their own perspective--who's right, who's wrong. Do the gods command or protect? A question yet to be answered through all of these decades and centuries!!
    As always, intriguing, thoughtful and wonderfully penned!

  10. "armor blackened with the smoke of shatter sacrifice" cause me so say out loud... "God, I LOVE poetry."

    And the incense, the incense. The trade of it perhaps at first. The puffs of smoke under gloom of grave site.

    really awesome little movie scenes here, Steve.

    and I totally was remiss in coming over here a week or so ago to tell you I'd posted YOUR sidebar button on my site. You were a bit "hard" to find images for. Scant few photos on this site. Hope you are a coffee drinker! Or at least tea. And your high intgelligence told me you are one who honors books.