THE LONGEST NIGHT

wwi 2

Spring 1920
Forgotten tribes and luminaries outwear handicaps, sadly he was neither
fumbling as he was for buttercups and daises when he should have been
placing evergreen wreaths upon the chastened graves of onetime comrades,
yet now marking captured pity’s provocative conquests instead of marking time,
the divine purple way beyond his reprieve, dreaming just of the return of his eyes,
hunting alone in the dark, preferring the touch of debauched angels over angels

October 1914
The shortest day, the longest night
a peerless time for wedding bells to ring
deep mid-winter has its amorous touches, the
silence of a boundless snowfall would be fine also
“Hope she answers ‘yes’” his one concern
the long since delayed proposal would be
realized the very moment he was home
hostilities would, after all be well and truly over
before the coming Yuletide ‘so they give it’ discounting
that a faster than the speed of sound whizz bang
burst in his Ypres dug-out, blinded him forevermore
cost him dear. Red, red wine and stale bread cold comfort
when each and every day is now the longest night
“What fucking life can I offer her now?”
his bitter take on prevailing incompetence
even the best laid plans can go to worms

1920 revisited
Yet out there, where lowlife convulsed, where strumpets blithely rob the one who
chose bulbous shades at night and in the day, in electric storms and under moonlight lost
prodding thin air and obstacles with blunted cane she would have said ‘yes, yes, yes’
she who would lend her own eyes, she who never gave a single thought to give up on him
such are the catastrophes of squabbles, the tragedies of man when nations raise Cain

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39 thoughts on “THE LONGEST NIGHT

  1. I guess we all have our wars. Viet Nam brought me low and bitter, shaped to a cynicism and despair that still haunts each war my country seems to fail against. A nation that once fought against stupidity has become the most ignorant of all. Alas, we prick the pens of spite to our own demise.

    • Interesting point you raise. Your nation from the outside looking in always seems to work better in terms of Foreign Policy when then Democrats hold sway…always seems a safer place…already Europe is bracing itself just in case Trump wins out…yet never forget the sheer power of the States did end both WW1 and WW2 and despite the fact many here still whinge you entered both wars late they should not forget you won them and thus ensured freedom, and that or should I say those were/are your finest hours and thanks is deserved from all Europeans

      • Yea, since then its been about profit not freedom – even if the lie on the surface spouts democracy; it’s really about globalism, oil, resources, power, etc. And, as you said, the only reason they got into both wars was that they might lose their investments rather than the propaganda about saving Europe. Funny how the history books always support the propaganda rather than the underlying economics of war…

      • ‘History books’…I was making some notes the other day re a piece I might write about a new world order where children aren’t ‘groomed’ at school with the subjective view which would mean they learn only proven truths, language, maths, science, history in time lines and no theology, accounts of history yet thus far haven’t found a place for the art forms which must be included in the ‘to learn’ list…then again the teacher I proposed from another planet! By the way I shouldn’t be too harsh on the US for ‘Great’ Britain for example was the nation that turned the little cottage industry of slavery into a global business; traded religion for diamonds in Southern Africa etc. etc….I could wax lyrical for hours on this so won’t bore you save to observe we might have been ‘Powerful’ but never ‘Great’ but you get my drift!

      • Haha… yea, we don’t have the monopoly on inhumanity to humans. It’s been around a while now… 🙂

        Yea, a story like that would be to take Kant at his word, let’s just stuff the stuff (noumenon) that can’t be thought in a black box and forget it. Facts become the greatest lie and propaganda, then. But then again isn’t that already being done? Isn’t TV or the Tele already the greatest show on earth: Reality TV is fiction as Fact. Who needs Art when you have the human Mind. We love our illusions… what they don’t like is creatures like us that puncture those bubbles of self-satisfaction. For that we’re doomed to the outer limits. But then again an Alien teacher would see things as they are not as humans do, which would get him put in a madhouse for sure. 🙂

      • Richard Dawkins philosophy is the closest thing to sanity in my book. The banality of the vast majority of the human race is perhaps the greatest disappointment there is. That banality when measured against those evil bastards who feel compelled to run for office or merely take power creates the perfect storm (WW1 and 2 fine examples)…always has been; always will be…and it is the noble, tiny minority…the ‘us’ the only one’s who see that the Emperor is naked, perhaps the saddest thing in life…even as an old atheist I say, ‘Thank God for the satirists for they are our last hope’…not that the banal ever read them what with them being too busy watching talentless singers sing on talentless TV. Is there any hope!

  2. 1920 revisited- bulbous shades at night, provoked thoughts on a category of vegetables called the nightshades. Tomatoes & potatoes amongst. I’ve also jotted the word ‘handicap’. Thank you for your share, mike, enjoyed it muchly.

    • Three kilo’s of bulbous shades if I may greengrocer please! Yes that seems to work! Oddly I researched that bit for sunglasses were a rare and very expensive item back then yet the blinded were handed out special bulbous shades which were they remarketed these days would be rather cool I think…I live in prescription shades all year round and would certainly get some were they about…mind I prefer a fedora to a handy cap though!

      • Oh is that what it is, sunglasses, perfect. I lost my prescription glasses, placed them next to my bag and not in, haven’t got a new pair, always skwinting these days. Some one said, ‘gee hope you don’t drive like that’, in which I replied, ‘I’m a master adapter’. I think their body did some shutter type thing in sheer scardness.

        Lovely Fedora’s, hats in general actually.

      • Living so close to the sea the easterly winds in from Mother Russia tend to blow my hat off more often than not…my wife well she has more hats than pairs of Doc’s and that’s saying something I can tell you! I fear that if I ever claimed to be a Master Adapter then people would be using me to recharge all manner of things…could be a skit there thinking about it…might have to nick that and credit you for the theft! Joking of course for good manners wouldn’t allow such brazen theft!

      • Having just hosted a small dinner party and having forgotten entirely what I wrote previous (an age thing sadly) I thought when you wrote Nick you meant the last and final Czar…winds from Mother Russia my only recollection (God how I hate ageing) yet having checked you mean the very theft I meant in the first place…are you sure you don’t mind if I ‘nick’ it…I will endeavour to do it proud (probably fail) and credit you of course?

      • I’m sure you will do it complete justice. Remember, tomorrow is a big day, don’t push yourself too hard in regards to the adapter. Trench notes are of priority.

  3. So this is amazing…I don’t even know how to really verbalise my thoughts on this. It kind of reminds me of the time I read ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ to a class for the first time. Sorry I can’t be more eloquent, I’m a little lost for words. Thanks for writing this.

    • My sincere apologies for not spotting your comment earlier – just checked and it didn’t appear on that notification of comments and like things right of screen! I must confess WW1 will baffle me till death arrives…wasted lives for a fight among nations that had no objective cause in part or at all…lines on maps and dubious alliances let loose with a then new found weaponry spelt massacre. My thanks Janeybgood

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