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Experience Chas Lotter's Poetry...


War Stories

Beware the loud ones

Who refight their escapades

In voices which leak cigars and beer.

Who take a high-decibel umbrage

At the slightest trace

Of disbelief

 

Look instead for the quiet ones

Who shout the least

And have done the most,

Whose exploits you only hear of

In snatches

From others

Winter Night in the Bush

The night was cool.

Hordes of stars stared down from a cloudless sky

As the mountain wind caressed the grass

And the moon lit up the ridge.

From where I lay

I watched satellites track through the heavens

Drew on my smoke.

Well hidden,

Some food,

Some water.

A man could be

Content with this

Fleeting Visit

Have you ever heard

A dead man talk ?

Have you ever walked

With ghosts ?

Have you ever sat alone

And felt a spirit run his fingers up your spine ?

I have sat with the shade of a long-gone friend

And heard him whisper in my brain

As his tattered shadow moved

In an ill-lit corner of the room

Journey to a Deserted Farm

The windows were empty

The lawn was choked with weeds.

The whole place shouted "No-one home"

In every sign of neglect.

All of which may seem mundane and unimportant, for

there are hundreds of farms like it

Whose owners were forced out

By the war.

But this one was far more personal

To me. This was my father's home.

I walked the empty rooms which shouted at me

Of my childhood.

I walked the web of memory

Amid bitterness

At what the war has done

To us.

Appeal

Don't mind my hands

Padre.

They shake like this

When I'm in base.

I dream of death

Padre.

Scream in the dark

To chase the nightmares away.

I drink

Padre.

To keep my memories

At bay.

I am nineteen

Padre.

Why then do I feel so old and worn ?

Why can't it be

Like in the books

Padre ?

 

Padre.

For God's sake answer me!

Ashes and Dust

Turn back the years

Pick through the bones

We left behind.

Examine our few remains

In vain.

The search is useless.

For the raw, rich stuff of life

Has long since fled us.

Resurrect our rusty rifles

From the ever hungry earth

Carefully place the faded rags

Left of that which clothed us

In warm museum halls.

 

Guard well the curling, yellow photograph

You found.

Gaze down upon our faces

Frozen

In a tattered message

Addressed to those

Who are still to come.

 

Argue, analyze, theorise

On the force which drove our people.

 

We were only human.

We bled, loved, laughed and cried

And we laid

The foundation stone

Of the years you live in.


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