An inconsequential assault

Listening to the heated words
there is no connection, no thought, no logical
reasoning that can be completed. The chain of
adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs are the
punctuated construct of melodrama yelled,
screamed, blathered and blurted
in the audible range of everyone’s hearing.

The moment is oppressive, hot,
the mind boxed into a submission of cowed
acceptance. Compromise is undefined,
no agreement, no disagreement, only the words.
A verbalized water boarding of consciousness,
torturing the of inner spirit, wasting
any possibility of minimal comprehension.

“Did you hear what I said,” a mallet of angst
clubbing into oblivion the apple of truth.
Any effort to communicate is swallowed, digested,
deposited on a compost pile of the steaming
rotted past. What was will never be again,
what is said can not be forgotten,
its stench a constant mental reminder.

“I’ve said all I going to say.” Ahhh, relief,
reprieve from the incessant diatribe of an
emotional downpour disappearing into a sea
of hormonal insanity.The ocean is once again
placid, serene, gently rocking life’s fragile boat
until the next storm looms over a tomorrow horizon.
Careful, monsters cruise just below the surface.

©2015, Donald Harbour

That smell

it is recorded in a brain cell
that one particular scent
the bouquet of it stains
as wine on a linen dress
an ambrosia of memory
carrying its own fetidness
that stench awakens consciousness
a cloddish backhand of the past
one only need savor its tang
the rankness of remembrance
is not the perfume of passion
nor the musk of desire
no it is the foulness of battle
searing nostril burning smoke
the odor of fear of stale sweat of pain
the stink of the jungle
the rancidness of the rotting earth
all nature returning to dust
the sounds can be dismissed but
never the malodorous carcass of death
an unwanted smirch upon life
the vial is opened so easily
bacon cooking on the stove
the smell of a gun oil rag
acrid Fourth of July fireworks
a red fluid reeking of iron
road kill baking in the sun
the obscenity permeates the nose
that offending orifice of breath
then like a passing bullet
it is gone until some noisome finger
pulls that mentally stored trigger
to fire that one overpowering sense
wounded by the mind again

©2011, Donald Harbour

Flags flutter and fall

This dream…..this dream
haunts, it will not release me.
Men dressed in gray rags,
sunken eyes, hollow cheeks,
heads hung, shuffling down
a dusty desolate red rime road.
Some with shoes, some barefooted.
They parade in lines of hundreds,
in small groups, a few stumble alone.
Men with slack mouths, dumbfounded.
“How did they get here,” I ask.
A voice answers in a whisper,
“They lost, in defeat they lost.”
I cannot speak to them, for
my heart is heavy, not for their loss,
for their humanity, their despair.
“Why have they come to this?”
The voice answers,
“Their cause was not just,
their belief was not valid.”
Before me a passing wagon moans
filled with broken bandaged men,
flies attack their festering wounds.
The air is heavy with the scent of battle,
gun powder, steel, blood and flesh.
It is a pitiless horror, a waste,
as are all wars through the ages.
Winners suffer as much as the conquered.
The earth groans to absorb the violence.
The tears that stain my cheeks burn,
their acrid path seared by sorrow.
“There is so much pain,” I say.
“It is a nation’s to bear,” intones the voice.
“For what was lost will never be,
what will be will heal the wounds.
That which divided will bond the parts.”
The ragged men begin to fade from sight,
filing over the crest of a southern leading hill.
Bathed in a sunset of crimson, the
blue sky a background with lines of stars.
As darkness descends on this scene,
guidons cast off their red gilded staffs,
all their flags of honor have fluttered and fallen.

© 2011, Donald Harbour

What is gained

One foot strides in front of the other,
The path is across worn un-mortared stones,
The ages tug at the soles of the feet,
Stains of conflict and change in the stones.

The whisper of the sandal shod feet breaths,
“Do not hurry, the temple has waited forever,”
There is a rush of exhilaration, a sensual need,
The very thought can stop the heart, this forever.

An ancient part of the soul reaches forward,
Its clasp tempered by the passing millennium,
Some will not reach the sacred grounds,
Others will prostrate as done for past millennium.

The question is asked: “And what will it gain,”
The answer not of the stone or perceived spirituality,
No book, no shaman, no priest, can explain it,
Gained is what is carry in peace to our own spirituality.