War

How
Do you read an elegy for a soldier that
was never written, or find an unknown
grave that was never dug, or revisit a
foreign land you have never seen?

How
Do you write a war song that has no
lyrics, or visit a dead warrior you never
knew, or find penetrating memories that
never existed except in scarlet?

How
Do you rid yourself of the dark
nightmares caused by countless scenes
of bloody battles painted in the gray
miasma of some child’s pain?

Where
Can you find solace in a chaotic and
damaged warring world when the sharp
stones under your feet have turned to
crimson?

Where
Are the peacemakers, the caring souls
with loving hearts, have they vanished in
this world of madness, or have their
perpetual tears drowned them?

Where
Can you hide to escape war’s din, and
there is nothing left except mothers
crying while bodies of their children rot
in crumbling sand tombs?

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James, a retired professor and octogenarian, is a pushcart and best of web nominee. He has published 3 collections of poetry, “The Silent Pond” (2012), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014), and “LIGHT,” (2016), and over 1,000 poems, in such magazines as Global Poetry, Westward Quarterly, Miller’s Pond, Poetic Diversity, American Aesthetic, Penwood, Gold Dust Poetry, Scarlet Leaf, The Linnet’s Wings and over 120 others. His fourth collection of poetry will be released this year. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU.

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