Elegy (Memorial Day 2016)

fog 1s

We watched you go: “Come home,” we said,
the moon reflected in your tread,
with our drums and guns, guns and song,
we called you Johnny, marching, gone.

A long time passing filled with dust,
the blood runs wary, turned to rust,
oh hear the bugle, haunting, long,
we called you Johnny, marching, gone.

A secret silence speaks your name,
a faded photo in a frame,
as morning breaks we rise alone,
we called you Johnny, marching, gone.

Behind a blurred and endless view
unrealized, we hardly knew
the road, a vast mirage withdrawn,
we called you Johnny, marching, gone.

The light dissolves and takes its leave
with too much time left still to grieve,
the tears are turning phantom dawn,
we called you Johnny, marching, gone.

A sway of shadows: only trees,
your presence hollow, shaded, creased,
beloved husband, father, son:
we called you Johnny, marching, gone

trees nc beach s

This elegy uses the kyrielle form, Jane Dougherty’s challenge for this week.  Top photo was taken from the bridge part of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, second photo was taken near the Bodie Island lighthouse in Nags Head.  Jane’s inspiration painting and words below.

Лунная ночь. Большая дорога

Moonlight, tread, wary, secret, swaying.

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39 responses to “Elegy (Memorial Day 2016)”

  1. merrildsmith says :

    Beautiful, sad, haunting Kyrielle. The refrain is insistent, like a drum beat.
    I like that though you kind of reference “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” the lines could refer to soldiers in any war.

  2. Jane Dougherty says :

    So moving, Kerfe. As Merril says, it’s a universal marching song of the boys to war and the women to grieve.

  3. memadtwo says :

    You always rise to the occasion. Glad to have you back.

  4. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Kerfe, first welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful time. This piece is absolutely stunning. Goosebumps and tears and… just in awe of your skill. You make this look so easy but we know it is not. You are operating in your gift, one of many. Thank you for sharing. Amazing.

  5. Jodi says :

    So beautifully done Kerfe! Magnificent!

  6. DS says :

    Beautiful, absolutely stunning.

  7. Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash) says :

    Such an incredibly touching poem. Really excellent tribute and so well written. Thanks so much for sharing. So glad you’re back my friend.

  8. Sharon Mann says :

    Welcome back Kerfe, thank you for your very touching post.

  9. Sand Salt Moon says :

    OMG, sheer brilliance in every line. It flows and the sentiment is so strong. Wonderful tribute, Kerfe, to Johnny.

  10. artandmoondreams says :

    Beautiful, poignant,….brought me to tears. A sensitive tribute wonderfully expressed. Peace.

  11. Janice says :

    A powerful and timely poem.

  12. davekingsbury says :

    Fine poem in an evocative pictorial setting. The echo of old songs is effective.

  13. Rosie Scribblah says :

    Utterly beautiful

  14. Jennifer G. Knoblock says :

    Masterfully done, form, subject, all. I think these are my favorite lines:

    The light dissolves and takes its leave
    with too much time left still to grieve,

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Jennifer. Repetition really gives a nice structure for rhythm and rhyme I think. I like this form.

      • Jennifer G. Knoblock says :

        Oh, maybe I should try it. I’ve been a bit afraid…you make it so natural, as if it were easy…

      • memadtwo says :

        It’s getting easier. I’m often better with a structure to bounce off. One of the things I remember from my design fundamentals class was the difficulty of too many choices in an assignment. Our instructor wanted us to learn this for ourselves, and I did at least! It’s often more freeing to have to fit into specific criteria.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Poetry challenge: Dreaming trees – Jane Dougherty Writes - May 31, 2016

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