The news here is on Afghanistan, where we have some three hundred pairs of boots on the ground in what they told the public was a "peace keeping" operation. The Danish soldiers were sent to a hornets nest in Pashtun country, poppy country and darn if the Brits didn't blow up a mosque (by accident) the week before the Danes arrived!
Sooo, the Danes have been taking fire and casualties ever since. The politicians here have been expressing shock that they were not better informed.
Sheet, when I heard where they were sending these young boys, I slapped my forehead and said "What the F-!"
Speaking if young boys, I give you another poem from the pen of my Aunt Helen. Her son, David Talmadge, was three years younger than I. His life was cut short when one morning he took a lift to school that ended with a speeding car in the ditch, wheels spinnin and all passengers dead inside.
Whether lost in a sensless car crash or a senseless war, a mother's pain at the loss of a child never ends. My Aunt Helen, just celebrated her 97th birthday. Many of her poems circle around that day in 1958 when my cousin died.
As I stood beneath the maple trees
And watched a wandering autumn breeze
Gently caress each quivering leaf,
I felt your brave spirit soaring free...
It rose to the sky exultingly,
Forever done with all human grief:
Like a moth or butterfly who, at last
Sheds the husk chaining it to the past
And dries its wings in the noonday sun...
Who weeps that the chrysalis has wings?
We love the joy that its beauty brings!
Nor grieve that its earth-bound days are done.
An editor, who otherwise liked this poem, wanted Helen to find other words for "Shed" and "harsh", because "these words are to hard to pronounce and have too many 's' sounds".
Ah, but these are the exact right words she uses! They are the heart and turning point of this lovely piece.
If poets go to the same heaven as editors and critics, there will be some fistfights before we settle down to plucking our harps...