Saturday, 29 January 2011

Chris Port Blog #70. Anthem for Doomed Boys

(with apologies to Wilfred Owen)
© Chris Port, 2010

What classroom tells of these who have no future?
- Only the pointless orbit of the sun
Only the joyless poet’s turgid torture
Can flatten out their wasted horizons.
No jobs to see now for them; no cars nor fuel
Nor any choice of transport save the prisons
The dull, cemented prisons of failing schools
And sirens wailing for them like mad fun.

What manhood must be sold to feed a bride?
Not in the eyes of girls, but in their son
Shall stare a lonely father forgotten.
The anger of boys’ hands shall be their pride;
Their power a wireflex round lowered head,
And each grey dawn an empty space in bed.

1 comment:

    by Wilfred Owen, September/October 1917

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?
    Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
    The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.