"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Monday, April 30, 2012

Honor or Madness

© Mama Zen Photography

Was it honor or madness
that had men going to war?

Armor donned, sword raised,
flesh sliced to drown the grass with blood.

Carnage written in romantic prose,
fair maidens swooned under bloody crowns.

The chessboard of kingdoms
were played with bitter hands.

Power fed on corpses of the dead.
Victory assessed by number of the slain.

Did men dress their madness in honor
to justify the lies burnished upon their chests?

©Susie Clevenger 2012


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is an excellent interpretation of the photo. I thought the third stanza made a very strong point about the misconceptions of what war is really all about.

Margaret said...

Wow! I won't highlight the entire poem... I love the whole thing! Mama Zen will be thrilled, I know I am.

Mary said...

Ah, Susie, it all really is a chess board, isn't it? Move, counter-move; and in the end no one really wins! A strong write here!

Laura said...

"Did men dress their madness in honor
to justify the lies burnished upon their chests?" the eternal question and answer all in one.

Mary Ann Potter said...

Memorable imagery!!! I'm impressed with the way you reacted so viscerally to the photo prompt. (Madness or honor? I figure that what starts out as honor ends up as madness...)

Heaven said...

You raised a very good question..this is thought provoking poem. Well done Susie ~

Laurie Kolp said...

Very thought-provoking... I love the reference to chess, Susie.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"....fair maidens swooned under bloody crowns".......I enjoyed this walk back in time........

Semaphore said...

I fear the answer is - both. You may begin with honor, but the horror and enthrall ent of war is such that, to continue on, or to return, takes madness. An incisive poem.

Herotomost said...

Its buffoonery most of the time I think....makes me sick to my stomach. I do know that there are times when certain things may be necessary of the greater good of man kind....but that seems rarely to be the case. those cases seem to slip off the radar pretty quickly when there is no prize to be had. Great writing Susie.

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