by Collin G Chadwick
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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I wrote this recently in an attempt to write a poem based on the ancient warrior traditions of the world. Influenced by such cultures as the Mycenaean people of Greece, I try to get across the soldier's pathos and the idea of his unwavering spirit to the reader. Meant to be a pep talk to a soldier in the throes of temporary defeat, the poem's final line was inspired directly from the Spartan tradition.
By Collin Chadwick
If they could see the anguish in his eyes,
The tremor in his hands,
The stolen will to stand his ground,
Taken from his iron conscience with terrible force
By unseen claws,
Forcing him to flee away,
To forget the unrelenting gallantry that so often
He relied on to prevail.
What would they say, the ancestors of old,
Who could see him like this,
Unrecognizable from the man they truly know to exist,
The hardy, battle-tested skirmisher who never threw down
His arms, who never recoiled at the sight of the
Manifestations of his inner demons?
Respect is not automatically granted,
Courage does not come so easily sometimes;
The warrior remembers his mission, his reasons,
The things he has been forced to witness, to live through.
In this way the fires of the soul and the desires of the mind
Unite, giving rise to the legendary confidence and valor
Which bygone ages and bards found worthy of acclaim
When the world needed the strength of heroes.
That dark time of lawlessness and carnage spurred on the
Champions of old and spawned pride from their ancestors.
He must draw on them now, their stories recounted.
For only by reigniting the senses of hope and justice
Can the hero be restored and return from humiliation and defeat
Unimaginable, to fight on as he did before, liberated from fear,
Vowing to come back from the war at hand
Either with his shield or on it.
March 9, 2010