Sunday, June 16, 2013

dVerse Poetics - Beauty is Everywhere "Bloody Lane"

Bloody Lane

A coverlet of verdant green
lies nestled between quiet fields
of swaying golden wheat
and stalks of ripening corn
which are first to yawn and stretch,
offer up a prayer,
as dawn's mourning is greeted
with glistening tips of bayonets
hidden beneath harmless cotton clouds,

a nightmare resurrected
of fear-filled hate, where duty
becomes a river flowing red
of brothers, fathers, cousins,
bonds of love, ignored,
sacrificed for Old Glory's cause.

Ideals don't matter much,
death has no bias
as heroes quickly become 
gloriously, tragically dead.

With the setting sun,
all will rise, walk and laugh,
put strife and conflict to rest,
and plan for next year's celebration
of the day romanticism died
a gory death, September 1862,
upon this coverlet of verdant green.

by Margaret Bednar, June 16, 2013

"Bloody Lane", Antietam National Battlefield

This is linked with "dVerse - Poetics:  Beauty is Everywhere".  Try to use metaphors, adjectives and adverbs - create something beautiful contrasting it with something ugly.   I worked really hard on this... only to read the instructions further that the contrast wasn't necessary.  ha!

I'm still glad I struggled (and it may need tweaking).  What immediately came to my mind was Antietam National Battlefield, the bloodiest day of the Civil War.  Every year it has a reenactment of that day, and last year its 150 anniversary was celebrated.  The grounds are spectacularly beautiful and the day of reenactment quite exciting and fun.  I'm sure 1862 was quite different.

Also linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday"


Fred Rutherford said...

wonderfully crafted. Love the way certain lines cast a particular tone/mood, which both offsets and at the same time emphasizes the beautiful sense as well. Outstanding read. thanks

Claudia said...

oh heck...the contrast here is powerful and made me swallow hard...the tender lines of describing the beauty of the field and then..wasn't prepared for it..should've been after reading the title but...very tightly written margaret..

Anonymous said...

Well, you've certainly made the contrast work for you here - a great write.

Susan said...

Your pic! and then I love the mourning dawn and wheat/spears, the first hints of the "Bloody Lane" while the corn yawns and stretches.Next thing I knew I saw the field full of the men and boys, right there in your photo! Powerful poem linking past and present under a coverlet of green.

aprille said...

What a source of contrasts, the slow waking of the grain, the then battle with today's re-enactment and the tight performance with the release of laughter.
Beautifully conceived and written.

Brian Miller said...

ha i know it was....when we lived in maryland i used to walk gettysburg quite often...and it is a silence reverence with which i walked...all the death...and thoughts of what it was all contrast nicely between the bayonets and skies, the beauty and ugliness...

Laurie Kolp said...

I love the image in the first stanza, the yawning and stretching, offering a prayer of the wheat and corn.

Heaven said...

I think you did a great job, a contrast of the beautiful field with gory death ~ For me, your opening verse is stellar and sets the imagery of your poem ~

Have a good Sunday ~

TALON said...

We used to live in a house built close to a battlefield involved with the War of 1812. When I rode Gypsy across those fields, I swore I could hear residual sounds...always made me shiver.

This was sharp, Margaret. Especially the contrasts of peace and war.

Björn said...

You really went for maximum contrast... and those memories of battlefields can be so beautiful today... does it really serve it's purpose (as you say ... today it's fun) Maybe the battlefields should be covered up in concrete to remind of the horrors. Wonderful write (especially how you moved from the wheat field to bayonets.

Fireblossom said...

"The paths of glory lead only to the grave".

As with most wars, people were sure the American civil war would be a short, easy affair, and people would even pack picnic baskets to go and sit on some hill and watch the fighting. But it was not short, nor easy, and few battles were more horrible than Antietam.

Anonymous said...

powerful contrasts. nicely done.

Anonymous said...

loved how you played with the contrasts... the 'mourning dawn'... amazing. beautiful and deep - a great write.

Margaret said...

I thank everyone and for the wonderful feedback and for Fred for prompting its creation!! I will be around to comment and visit soon but this weekend was jam packed for me.

Marian said...

the day romanticism died. sure enough. this is vibrant and true, Margaret, well done.

Susan said...

Still love the entire presentation, and especially your words.

Mama Zen said...

"and plan for next year's celebration
of the day romanticism died"

That is really brilliant work, Margaret.

Timoteo said...

Good job of conveying the senselessness of it all.

Anonymous said...

Margaret, this is deeply impressive. Visiting those Battlefields (I saw Gettysburg) and thinking of what was in contrast with the beauty of the current surrounding is chilling. This made me think of a drive through the Dakotas and Montana...and the blood that was shed there back during the European expansion into Indian territory...the sunflower, corn fields etc.

Jim said...

Nicely written, Margaret. My first hint that all was not pretty was where you wrote about the 'glistening bayonet tips.

September 17, 2012, The Battle of Antietam, was a sad and very bloody day. I don't watch war movies or books about war. Your poem was fine though, a very good remembrance of how terrible it was then, being confined to our own country.

Mr. Charleston said...

Nicely done. There's an inescapable feeling to battlefields. As if they are haunted. I have never been to a really large one. It's on my bucket list. But even the smaller ones have that strange feeling under the beauty of the park.

hedgewitch said...

I think the contrast worked wonderfully here, Margaret. The poem leads through the simple peace of nature inexorably to the human waste of war, and the meaninglessness of glory when one is dead. The Civil War is a fascinating era in our history--we think of the polarization our country has now as something recent, but in fact it's been here since the Puritans settled New England, and the plantation owners the South. Two totally different philosophies, united only in a dislike of outside tyranny.

But I'm babbling--thanks for starting me off on this probably pointless but interesting train of thought.;_)

Margaret said...

Joy... You have permission to "babble" on my blog anytime!! Thank you everyone as the Civil War is one of my favorite things to write about.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A fantastic write, and makes one think of all of the visually beautiful fallow land that carry somewhere within its DNA traces of old battles.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Beautiful scenery and gory deaths. Makes you weep for mankind.

Akila G said...

Beautifully crafted and layered. I ma glad I came here, better late than enever

grapeling said...

Margaret, so well caught, and the contrast employed for full effect. ~ M

Anonymous said...

A beautiful poem, Margaret. I have been to Antietam and it is amazing how these places - battlefields- are so tranquil and peaceful after the fact. I've been to several in Europe too, and Gettyburg, but I remember Antietam especially. A very rich subject for poetry which you handle so well. k.

Kay L. Davies said...

My first husband, who had no southern US ties that he knew of (he was adopted, by a Canadian mother and an English-born father) studied the Civil War as though it were his own. I wonder, sometimes, if something in his DNA led him to be so passionate about it. (Sort of the opposite of Sherry's mention of DNA.)
You certainly covered this subject beautifully and poignantly, Margaret.