Some poems dip toes into little pools of darkness. Others just dive in, to rivers of shit. As Jung memorably said- we do not grow by turning always into the light but by making the darkness visible. Though this is one of the darkest poems I've ever written, I hope you enjoy it. The image of relationships ending in acrimony and hatred or betrayal, that always comes to my mind, is of bloody and cruel trench warfare. Of slaughter. As family mediation is one of the strings on my bow of being, I am witness to a lot of this. I suppose, to continue the analogy, I'm one of the stretcher bearers running round gathering up the bits. I once had a powerful dream of separated parents as medieval knights jousting, using their children as lances-'splintering against their shields of hate.' Of course it's not always like that. Many people, probably most, end their relationships with quiet dignity even heroism. But that doesn't make for the best dark poetry!
And yes...For a while I was a soldier there myself-bewildered and trench-footed.
This is an inverted sonnet-that is, with octet and sestet changed round and without punctuation of any kind, apart from the bracketed (to us), and the paltry comma after 'you, and me' to create a sense of separation, topsy-turviness and confining loss.
This is from my nearly completed collection 'The Book of Three Rings.' For which I am currently seeking a publisher!
Kindness is a language that is dead (to us)
A gag that swells within our strictured throats
We’ve laid the concrete over our green fields
And cut down all the trees and crucified
It all upon a cross of hate and pain
Hammered in with poisonous nails
Our insides spilled out in a bloody trench
Beneath the clouds of deadly gas-the stench
rises from the corpses of the family friends
Lying half-buried in the sodden mud
Beyond them by a blackly blasted tree
Lies something that once was you, and me
It lies now in a desecrated tomb
For we've been born again-as living wounds