Poem of the Month: November 2011

Old soldier bleeds purple

Old soldier bleeds purple, hangs his thinning head,
His shanks laid bare with every passing breeze,
Surrendering all youth now that summer’s fled,
His heavy booty loading autumn trees.
He was here in springtime when his blood flowed green
And it seemed there were no battles to be fought,
Carefree through summer fields he might be seen
Scattering poppies; all that’s come to nought.
For now with a stripped hedgerow crutch he limps
Slow and painful down familiar ways,
Hoping for some trace perhaps, one last glimpse
Of that youthful self in these emb’ring days.
Old soldier bleeds purple, but is not afraid,
Squares his shoulders against the coming blade.

© James Nash 2011

Poem of the Month: October 2011

silver heart

silver heart
A silver heart hangs from a Spanish chain,
Rosary of hope in the coming years,
There when I wake next in the dark again,
My spirit shrinking at the night-time fears.
It feels more permanent than flesh and blood,
For human hearts can stop at any time,
And bodies go too quick to chalk and mud,
And who can guess the life-span of a rhyme?
Whoever will find it, and when and how,
Discovering it black with tarnish then,
It may be much too far away to know
The names and histories of we two men,
Only that someone might have loved one day
Enough to give this silver heart away.

© James Nash 2011