Put the leaves back on the trees

leaves

Put the leaves back on the trees,
grow the skin across the bone,
dream the words onto the page,
this land is but a scar regrown.

Grow the skin across the bone, 
dream the words onto the page,
this land is but a scar regrown,
it feeds upon each bygone age.

Dream the words onto the page,
the ink is blood much bled before,
its flow you never will assuage,
its what our hearts keep beating for.

This land is but a scar regrown
each strata laid is ever new,
its timeless wound forgot, unknown,
new pores to let the blood bleed through.

So put the leaves back on the trees
give back with love what nature took,
our time we steal like hapless thieves
our lives mere chapters in a book.

© Wolfgar 2018

Angel

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Angels are best cast out
before that they are merely slaves
God in his fury frees them
and regrets it for the rest of days

I met one in Le Sacré-Cœur
she flew out of a frame
burned upon re-entry
she took refuge by the Seine

We ended up in Le Pigalle
in a club called Crazy Horse
she slid the pole so heavenly
bound straight for hell of course

The best is often thrown away
the best is often waste
my eyes are cast to hell I’d say
for there my senses taste

the things that God forbids us
the things he keeps for self
but I am not for keeping
his teachings on the shelf

I took her down to Sainte-Chapelle
where we spied her in the glass
she folds her face to my lapel
now the Angel’s mine at last

© Wolfgar 2018

in extremis

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I thought I caught a glimpse of me coming back
the other way, a phantom of me somewhere from the future
in a tunnel white with dust, heavy in a veil of blood.

Going this way there is no past. I focus on the boots in front
heels kicking up the sand stone and goat shit,
almost laughing I choke, the voices in the distance sound killable.

Up ahead the sky is flashing white through yellow
the crump comes seconds later, 
somewhere a barrel is smoking and a life is gone.

Never more alive than close to death,
let me touch it let me feel the void,
I’m ready to take the sweeping scythe.

How many times did we leap its dripping blade?
or turn a corner one block early to live another day,
then hear the stories of the dead who turned the other way.

And did we care? we did not, we revelled in our life,
we shrugged off death.
I saw in your eyes our luck running out,

as I saw them power down when yours ran out,
in the moment I saw you fade, 
I shouted “fuck” then you were dead.

The last sound you heard was me shout “fuck”
I wish I’d shouted something else,
but I shouted that, and you were dead.

I saw myself reflected in a fuselage on the way home,
strapped to a board like an outcast angel 
I shouted “FUCK” at the medic, he shouted “Fuck off” back, we laughed.

At the reception centre I saw my wife’s face in the crowd,
it didn’t feel like home yet,
I felt myself break, right there, right then.

I hope Valhalla is hell for you,
for the quiet of this peace is killing me.

© Wolfgar 2018

Lunar widow

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Bone white she hangs still in the sky
the eyelid of night half blinking her eye
tracking the quiet of a ghostly terrain
with the cool of a killer who will kill again

Chased every morning as she is
etch-a-sketched out of inertia
does she despise that opulent sphere
that soaks up her darkness when she abandons it here

She shows us her face her beautiful hollow
since the man that once loved her has gone
and the masters of heaven forbid her to follow
now the light of her heart has been shone

© Wolfgar 2018

Dead Statue

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Mushroom Sombrero,
Immigrant Piñata,
Mucho US Susto
bearing only Al-Mata.

Fed purely on shit
then hit with a stick,
they bleed dollars when split
the voters love it.

It’s a Game of False Thrones
reigned over by clones,
who stretch skin on dead bones
and bomb babies with drones.

Tsunami Invaders,
displaced Temple Traders,
Pregnant Horses of Troy
come to feast on our Joy.

Under flip flops and blankets
they shield fragile hope,
while the State prints out pamphlets
and readies the rope.

Bring us your tired, your desperate and poor
who gasp to breathe free outside the gold door,
and we’ll mock as they fall and claw at the wall,
A colossus of freedom grown deaf to their call.

© Wolfgar 2018

Štimlje revisited (unseen casualties) 

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Traveling across open flatland toward Štimlje the ground begins to rise.
Driving on through the tight enclosed lanes of the town to the far side as if to leave,
a battered overgrown compound looms into view, its heavy mesh fences collapsing and dilapidated in parts.

This is Štimlje Mental Asylum. The patients are unable or unwilling to leave, they have been abandoned left to fend for themselves or die.
The staff have fled because this is a war zone.

Snow lays in muddy patches around about, stained with shit and blood.
A slug-like legless form drags itself through excrement seemingly going nowhere fast,
its insane leer and wolf-like howling splits the cold air, this thing is human.

Horror descends.

We continue systematically on foot, through unlit grey buildings and rooms, behind each door a shocking portal to another circle of hell.
Women, children, half animals, intermittent screeching barking and yelps.
Self harming, open wounds, and the gut wrenching stench of filth.

In one room no bigger than a single garage space, at least fifty naked forms stand silently shivering.
They stare out of hollow skulls straight through me as I stand silhouetted in the doorway.
They seem to be mostly men its hard to tell, their emaciated bodies look sexless.
Upon closer inspection there are a few women present, Jesus! What might have happened to them in here? Their hair is matted in clumps.

There were just four of us a small recce team we could do nothing we had nothing, we were staring into hell and were struck dumb by it.
We drove in Silence back to Pristina not one single fucking word.

I was strong, fit, able in mind and body. I was in my late thirties and this wasn’t my first war.

I got back to a quiet place and hid myself, I cried and shook like a pathetic child, big tough fucking soldier eh?

And sometimes that is how war fucks you, slowly. Either that or you get blown to shit.

Who would write poetry about that?

© Wolfgar 2018

Šljivovica

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Please visit the link below to view War and Remembrance collection
https://wolfgarwords.com/category/war-and-remembrance/

I stood inside the shallow valley within a bowl of snow-blind echoes,
freezing in a balkan-scape I pissed iced whiteness yellow.

A hundred paces up the rise,
a conversation, who lives, who dies?
decisions breathed in foggy breath
mock handshakes sealed untimely death.

© Wolfgar 2018

The Unfound Generation

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Words strung across pages of No Mans Land
like spilt intestines dragged through bloody time,
 
obscenely lit by flares of remembrance,
strobe like nightmares illuminating faces never seen.
 
Those wretches, unconcerned with poetry and prose
spat out their hauntings not caring they ever be read.
 
Such horror was their reality, now our fiction,
so full of hell they detached from it, regressing in utero.
 
How many last words “Mother” how many last skies black?
how thick with mud the bloodied track, how void then of scarlet petals?
 
From misery came misery, from the art of war came art,
from roaring cannon came silent peace, and from hate came love.
 
But still from war comes war, as always will.
 
The Greatest Generation of Men remains Unfound.

© Wolfgar 2018

Timber Sycamore

spores

Oh tree Oh tree
how can you be where water doesn’t flow?

how spread the spores of conflict
from seed not nature sown?

Yet here you stand so wieldy
rootless in the sand

a pollinated theory
blown far across the land

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore
(Initially I wasn’t going to add the link, but often subtlety will get you nowhere)

© Wolfgar 2018

The Skeleton Tree

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Leafy letters drifted free
released from the claws of a Skeleton tree

on golden pathways they wrote your name
which blew away when Winter came

and now the seasons turn again
I shall not walk that well trod lane

or fix my thoughts on what could be
If I found what fell from the Skeleton tree


© Wolfgar 2018

Last light

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Along the hedge row Surrey lane
a last light shimmers by moonlights wane,
as bar staff stack the chairs again
he walks the road by which he came.

Can’t hear the sea this far inland
or recall the feel of hand in hand,
though in his ears still sounds the band 
his mouth turned dry with blackened sand.

He shuns the lies of suited men
hunched by stones in London rain, 
who meekly say with fingers crossed
We really do regret your loss.

The lonely house stands guard alone
for this old soul returning Home,
to sit it out just one more night
and pray for dawns relieving light.

© Wolfgar 2018

The Virtue Signallers

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They are but da Vinci coded Roman Statues
pointing the way to final solutions,
more obvious than a turd in a swimming pool.
Dogs piss on them, drunks puke on them
whilst they remain aloof.

Then back from the front the actors come
with their moral compass spinning.
Welcomed by the virtuous bystanders,
those poets of peace who change the world?
and take credit for thinking they think.

We need active players
not Ikea desked and pyjama’d clones,
Latte quaffers and subscribers to literary rags.
By all means point and pontificate, but save your piety
and never steal what others win.

© Wolfgar 2018

To the Mistress of the Sea

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Within the harbour wall the sea is black as oil
it licks the little fishing boats
it glides along the granite stone
where silver fish scales twinkle the moon

The steps as slick as frying pans
descend through water cold as graves
yet none of those lost fisher men
can place one foot upon another

That they departed once from here
in boats of wood from forests full
to trawl a scape unknown to them
its voids as empty as their souls

Nets outcast in open water
beneath them only inner space
the shore too far to run for home
between the dark and the days safe haven

Yet still they venture into night
that they may crave the mornings light
the call of gulls when nearer home
the white peaks of the tidal foam

The Sea does beg without a name
to those who feel unbound to home
it welcomes all for all are same
and all embraced though all unknown

© Wolfgar 2018

Child of no Hope

Iran - Iraq War

At nine fifteen on the twenty first
all lessons ended for the One hundred and forty four
the toil of a nation slipped
and never again was it like before
 
Never the laughter
never the joy
never the going home bell
only the prospect of childless future
and drinking oneself into hell
 
Out of the window see the infant ghosts walk
little satchels and skipping ropes
innocent childlike talk
ascending through thickened colliery dust
please?
if there be god to him we entrust
 
Yet still the monument stands unheeded
we still pull the life from the ground
and for the loss of One hundred and forty four
it seems not much has been found
 
Whilst Children of Eden whether Sunni or Shia
cower in stair wells and die from their fear
whilst our empire of greed reigns down on their land
we bury their dreams under overturned sand
 
Whilst the oil we pull fuels our progress 
in concert with their demise
our toil is slipping upon them

and blackening out their skies
and blackening out their skies

© Wolfgar 2018

Too late the truth

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With gargoyled faces they stare dead eyed
into the past of their happy lives.
Not yet removed from the field
their souls still warm as breath.

These stupefied few ripped and flung like dolls,
look at their carcasses, what do you see?
lies and hope and pride, innocence?
regret or loss, no there is nothing.

And over there the same,
staring back visionless masks of puppets.
Above acres of mudded blood angels weep,
while demons give thanks to eternal men.

These ragged children, bastard sons fathers,
with never the chance to nurture or love.
Now they know the truth,
their voices disembodied for evermore.

© Wolfgar 2018

Mentioned in dispatches

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Do you think they felt the weight of history
pissing down in the drizzling sea spray
or when pulling on their mudded boots
that trod and fought through blood and clay

The fingers that caressed old photographs
were the same that clawed and scraped the skies
their last wept tears streaked ashen cheeks
as they left their deadened eyes

Were their grotesque withered bodies treated
solemnly and kind
or tossed as cannon fodder
in the trenches dug behind

Do you think their brothers cried for them
or resigned themselves to meet
and secretly reached out to them
to embrace their own defeat

And how can we in all truth now
profess to know their pain
and promise we’ll remember them
when the drums beat hasn’t changed

© Wolfgar 2018

A New Jerusalem

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These shores kissed now by poison lips
that speak of only love,
her mountains green ne’er trod by feet
sent here by God above.

Vexatious tongues rebuild her walls
and drown all those opposed,
that so each silenced thought destroyed
be as a coffin closed.

While men still talk of Nations
and plot with word and deed,
they anoint their aspirations
with blood of those who bleed.

Remote entanglement

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Like outposts of Empire
with synchronised obedience,
instincts are embedded
every command unseen, unheard, but done.

People flee toward and from them
in blind eyed hope,
but they are mere reflections
of remote entangled entities,

engaged and yet repellant.

Giant men shake hands
tectonic plates shift, foundations shake.
Little people reach for each other
and fractures knit together.

Like Kubrick’s femur tossed by apes
our existence evolves and spins,
In time will it fall to dust from where it came?
to lie extinct between two poles.