Sunday, November 16, 2008

Many Sides Of Courage

Flying over fires,
Spraying long streams of water
-going back again.

Entering the room,
Facing his parents on couch
-mom and dad, I'm gay.

Her best friends gathered,
Shooting up heroin and crack
-scared, she turned and left.

War Games
By Edward S. Gault

Mike had a complete arsenal in his room.
He had all kinds of machine guns,
And even a bazooka.
He had a camouflaged outfit,
And a green beret
That allowed him to be the Colonel
Just about all the time.
Whenever we re-enacted
The previous episode of
He brought his stockpile to his front yard.
We would select our weapons of choice,
Then we would go through the whole battle,
Just as we had seen it on TV.
One night Mark wanted to be the Colonel.
Todd was Captain.
Mark was usually Sear gent.
I was either a Private or a Corporal at best
(When they let me play at all).
But that night Mark wanted to be the Colonel.
Mike explained all the reasons why
Mark couldn’t be the Colonel.
He owned the uniform; it wouldn’t fit him any way.
He owned all the guns.
He was a natural leader of men.
Mark said it wasn’t fair.
Mike called Mark a faggot
Then punched him in the stomach
-real hard.
Mark crumpled to the ground crying.
I could see the tears roll down his face.
I had never seen Mark cry before.
He was tough.
He would have made a good Colonel.
We didn’t have the battle that night.
As I walked home that night,
I knew I had seen war.

Copyright 2008

One Single Impression: Courage


zoya gautam said...

..hazard,conformity,difference or temptation-courage comes through when courage is tested-an insightful rendition..many thanks..

anthonynorth said...

Sadly, this could be true of any age, and in any age.
Very nicely done.

SandyCarlson said...

It takes courage to be oneself, to be sure. Your last offering raises the question of who is the enemy? Well done as ever, Edward. Thanks.

Deborah Godin said...

A lesson of one kind or another would have been learned by every young wintess/participant to an even tlike that.

Sue said...

So many different kinds of courage -- physical danger, rejection by loved ones.
The last line of "War Games" makes the whole poem!

Beth P. said...

Dear Edward--
This was a powerful poem/story. Indeed you had seen war...

Thank you for this gut-rendition. I really liked all your haikus as well.

Jim said...

Wow! First three we might face ourselves, especially mom and dad and encountering an undesirable situation. I know a forester who just about got boxed in on the ground by fire .

I was thinking children in the last after I had ruled out a school masacre coming. War isn't fair, even especially to the women and children.
My poem was an attempt to be dark and strange but not real heavy. Usually mine are intended to be cheerful with a touch of humor.

qualcosa di bello said...

watching the news of the fires in CA, i am so touched by the first poem

Quiet Paths said...

These are all strong alone but fit together in what seems to me a poetic essay on courage. Thank you.

tumblewords said...

Courage does indeed come in many forms and at different times. Nice work!

gautami tripathy said...

Various way of depicting courage. Liked all.

foundations of wonder

Patois said...

The last one is so painful to read, especially seeing my own children play the various parts.

barbs.haiku said...

I really relate to the first having wakened to a house on fire. Well done as always, Edward.