nUkiEmOLe poetRy of Others #23/ 08 May 2021
“Seedtime” and “Victory – Without Peace” by Clement Wood
poem: “Seedtime” by Clement Wood
Not too deep we plant the grain,
So that it can rise again
To re-green the naked field,
Minting all its golden yield.
But these slaughtered men should sleep
Planted deep, planted deep.
They have had their share of pain,
And they would not rise again.
Out of the blood-washed trenches,
Leaving their bodies there,
The souls of the dead young soldiers
Float up the friendless air.
They do not seek the masters
Who herded them to this fate.
With hearts all hot for vengeance, –
They are too dead to hate.
But each one finds the maiden
He trembled for in life –
She who was yet his sweetheart.
She who was his young wife.
And she feels on her hungry bosom
The ghost of a dead caress.
As the soul of her lover scatters
Into gray nothingness.
“Victory – Without Peace” by Clement Wood
The slaughter-bugles screamed once more,
Over the patchwork lands of men,
And scattered, sword-hewn empires tore
Each other’s greedy hearts again –
One with a black and boastful greed,
Seeking a red supremacy;
The other with a mumbled creed
That it was armed to make men free.
Each steppe and pampa woke to flame
And joined the berserker advance;
From wild forgotten roads they came,
For the world ‘s roads all led to France.
And now no more the hail of steel
Tortures the lines of brown and gray…
The brief, joy-mad processions reel
And drop…and it is peace, men say.
Peace? When wherever men are found
The victors cry, “But just so free!”
And reddened banners spring from the ground,
For freer red supremacy….
A hollow shell of victory,
With war still writhing at its heart;
A clipped and gelded liberty,
Striving to force its chain apart!
Yet solvent love is not too far,
If men grow wise, or mobs stay kind;
And we could calm this troubled star,
Its singing rapture unconfined.
Now take your choice, O you who hoard
Frail-fingered power, weak lordly breath;
Young freedom, or the age-scarred sword,
Which leaves no peace on earth – but death.
**note: hese two poems. posted by Rick Rozoff on his pages, aRe strikingly WW-1 oR 2, altho he did not field those dates written on either ‘one’ unusually!