Sunday, March 1, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 90 - Take One More With Him


Welcome to the Poetry Train and to my March exhibit for my Sidebar Art Gallery. This month I'm featuring the works of:



Charles Burton Barber
Alex Colville
Frank Dicksee
Hokusai
Edward Robert Hughes
Michelangelo
Alphonse Mucha
Briton Riviere
Frederick Judd Waugh

For today's Poetry Train, I'm continuing my found poetry series, and returning to the character I introduced last week. We find Jock MacKeigan fighting in the Battle of Culloden, near Inverness in Scotland, April, 1746:








Take One More With Him


The horse and rider
Bore down on Jock like phantoms
THROUGH CHOKE OF POWDER
Bore down on Jock like phantoms
The horse and rider

Sword over head, swung
Down in a murderous arc
HIS BLADE SLICED SWIFTLY
Down in a murderous arc
Sword over head, swung

His blade sliced the arm
The dragoon's arm so swiftly
HAND STILL CLUTCHED SABRE
The dragoon's arm so swiftly
His blade sliced the arm

Clutching the sabre
The arm fell on battlefield
JOCK PANTED FOR AIR
The arm fell on battlefield
Clutching the sabre

Blinking back the sweat
How long, in the thick of it?
BLUE SMOKE ARTILLERY
How long, in the thick of it?
Blinking back the sweat

He felt the killing
Frenzy begin to lift off
FOCUS GOT HIM THROUGH
Frenzy begin to lift off
He felt the killing

Blocked out everything
All but weapons aimed at him
GOT HIM THROUGH IT ALL
All but weapons aimed at him
Blocked out everything

He heard it now - groans
Shouts. Rasp of steel. Musket fire.
NOW THE PAIN SET IN
Shouts. Rasp of steel. Musket fire.
He heard it now - groans

Always - frenzy's lift
Meant the danger was past. But -
NOT THIS EXHAUSTED
Meant the danger was past. But -
Always - frenzy's lift

Movement caught his eye
He turned. But it was too late.
BOUNCING FOUR-POUND SHOT
He turned. But it was too late.
Movement caught his eye

Hit a clump of grass
And veered up into the air
STRIKING JOCK'S ANKLE
And veered up into the air
Hit a clump of grass

He lay and writhed there
Screams all knotted up inside
SCREAMS FOUGHT PAST HIS LIPS
Screams all knotted up inside
He lay and writhed there

The sky above him
Was hazy with cloud and smoke
CHORUS OF WOUNDED
Was hazy with cloud and smoke
The sky above him

Heard tramping of feet
Cries of men rose up in pitch
ENGLISH STABBED SURVIVORS
Cries of men rose up in pitch
Heard tramping of feet

Bayonets would take
What foot and horse left behind
SCREAMS WERE GETTING CLOSE
What foot and horse left behind
Bayonets would take

It was clear to Jock
Before he took leave of life
TAKE ONE MORE WITH HIM
Before he took leave of life
It was clear to Jock

His fingers wrapped round
Handle of the dirk. No fear.
SOLDIER ENTERED SIGHTS
Handle of the dirk. No fear.
His fingers wrapped round

Sat up. Grabbed handful
Scarlet coat. Held fast. Thrust hard.
HIS CRY NO DIFFERENT
Scarlet coat. Held fast. Thrust hard.
Sat up. Grabbed handful

Jock's head rocked forward
Hit from behind. Took more blows.
NO STRENGTH LEFT. LAY STILL.
Hit from behind. Took more blows.
Jock's head rocked forward

This was it. Eyes shut
Prayed. Lord, I commend to you -
"GO TO BLOODY HELL!"
Prayed. Lord, I commend to you -
This was it. Eyes shut

- Julia Smith - 2009


I did The Naisaiku Challenge for this poem. Check it out!

14 comments:

Richard Wells said...

This was a very compelling read with all the chaos, horror, and fog of battle. But, I don't understand how it's a "found poem." Where did you find it? Am I missing something?

anthonynorth said...

The reality of battle brought vividly to life.

Julia Smith said...

Richard - this is a piece of prose fiction, a novel that is one of my works in progress. I reset it as a poem, which I've done with a few of my WIP's this year.

Amy Ruttan said...

Great poem Julia, to commemorate such a bloody battle.

Shelley Munro said...

Wow, Julia. Great poem. I was right there with Jock in the thick of battle.

SweetTalkingGuy.. said...

Phew, this is different, perhaps you've created a novel way to read a poem, or should that read...

Wendy Naisa said...

Hi Julia, thanks for taking the NaisaiKu.. Challenge! You've really gone to town with this! In fact I think you've written more for one post than anyone before.

Perhaps you'd like to link it to the new challenge tomorrow (Tuesday) at http;//naisaiku.blogspot.com so the other participants can read it.

Thanks again, I think this is wonderful!

SandyCarlson said...

I love this story. You bring it to life, to be sure.

Stan Ski said...

Vivid detail, graphic images.

Jeeves said...

Nice poem :)

gautami tripathy said...

Liked the progression in this!

out of focus

angie said...

Wonderful poem, Julia!
But I must admit...I had to go back and reread several times because I got distracted by the Sidebar Art!!

I love "The Princess Out of School"
The title itself makes me want to write about it.

Have you ever thought of doing a prompt blog? Your choices would certainly be "prompt" worthy!!!

It was nice, visiting your bolg today.

spacedlaw said...

What an epic song! Brilliant rendition of the moment.

Beloved Dreamer said...

You did a great job on this Naisaiku. I think you should check out some of our prompt sites. They might be fun for you. You sure know how to write a poem.


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