I don’t write about the war #poetry #earthweal

I don’t write about the war, much:
when it broke out, it felt as though
Europe were my body, and a crocodile
had torn off one of my limbs, left it severed
and was feasting on its gore
in parody of glory.

I don’t write about the war, as such:
I’ve thought about red buttons,
Hiroshima shadows on concrete steps,
waved at my own, then reprimanded
my own melancholy.

I don’t write about the war, within
the one we all fight:
hand over heart, and inner darkness over inner light
balancing chemicals and hormones
impact on the outer world.

I don’t write about the war,
and it’s not because I do not care:
If I thought writing about the war would end it
I would never stop writing. If I thought writing about the war
could stop the war to end all wars,
my ink would run dry in its bleeding.

I don’t write about the war
we have declared upon our home, this earth
which stems from war with our humanity:
why walk, when we can drive the car?
Why spread love, when we can so easily
spread enmity?

I don’t write about the war:
I write about birdsong, here in my bower
of bliss, I waken every morning
it surrounds me, like the blossom
gentle spring rain, softly falling
carpet of petals, soothing balm

This perfume-scented, lulled forgetfulness
tries earth’s overstretched capacity for forgiveness.

ยฉ 2022 experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.

Written for earthweal

This week, Sherry, in her Everwild challenge, has asked us to:

write from that place of holding onto wildness of soul, to balance the wild love and wild grief we swing between on any given day, at this time of utter unpredictability, when Mother Earth herself is providing us with comfort in our grief, even while she herself is bleeding.

47 thoughts on “I don’t write about the war #poetry #earthweal

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  1. Anyone who knows your writing would never accuse of not caring. ๐Ÿ’— If only weapons, including those harming our earth, could be exchanged for pens that could be used to craft more birdsong poems, what a different world it would be. If only. Stay the peaceful course, poetess Ingrid. ๐Ÿ•Š๏ธ

      1. You are welcome, Ingrid. Thank you for the beauty and insight you share. โœจ I see I left off the most important word in my first comment: you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Oooh, so heartbreaking. Quite a reality. There’s not even a single good thing about war. It’s suffering and suffering to the end. The thought of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is one such painful occurrence. ๐Ÿ˜ข Those men and women who died in the fire, smoke and rubles didn’t deserve it at all. ๐Ÿ˜“

  3. We know.
    If I had a button to stop the insanity I see, weโ€™d live in a different world. But what good would that do if some are on a different agenda?
    If only I had a superpowerโ€ฆ gosh, if only.
    I know your lovely heart. Stay sweet.
    I declare world peace.
    Loved your words. xoxo

  4. Once again you have written everything I feel. The repeated line works so well and, in fact, is a good leaping-off line to inspire other poems. Just wonderful, Ingrid. I, too, take great comfort in the blossoms and natural world around me, the one direction where hope still can be found as everything wakes up in spring to keep on living.

    1. It was what you said about โ€˜providing us with comfort in our grief, even while she herself is bleedingโ€™ which inspired this, Sherry.

  5. A powerful and elegantly crafted write, Ingrid. You touch on so many aspects of humanity and nature, it leaves me breathless and in awe. Amazing, my friend. ๐Ÿ™โœจโ˜บ๏ธ

  6. Nobody wants to read about the war, either – my war-soaked stuff goes largely uncommented. it’s the same quandary writing in grief of climate change versus writing in hope of change. (Some stay away from earthweal for that reason.) I wish I couldn’t write about war, but it’s like not writing about species vanishing or skies going silent. There’s a cost for not doing so, personally, as a poet. I don’t see poetry as any vehicle for political change — can’t get people to stop discarding plastics wantonly or change Putin’s behavior — but it can bear witness to the moment, and not to do so heaps forgetful dirt on the suffering. And personally I can’t do that, not now, not in this Ukraine conflict. It is a savagely broken ice shelf deep in the heart. Maybe I just need to grow up, find a tough-minded acceptance, understand that we are in a very dark century. And I’m not a mother and I don’t live right next to a dangerous, seething wound. For those reasons there may be much more essential work to be about. I just can’t shut my ears to the sound of it. At least not now. Happy there is a community of poets at work, sounding it out, sharing what vantage they find.

    1. I think we all have our own personal ways of responding, which represents how we cope and I know that silence is not an option. I think deeply about this conflict, about all conflicts, and feel terrible pain about them all. I add my voice, but I cannot let the pain overwhelm me, or I would cease to function as a human being!

  7. Wow! This poem doesn’t write about war in the same way a mask doesn’t reveal identity. The bowered blessing of birdsong is food indeed, the best food when we know that war engages body, soul and world, even if we live a peace testimony. So I grieve in peace, and find peace in grief. Beautiful, stimulating poem!

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