Free verse (open form) poetry offers the ultimate freedom, and the ultimate bondage. The fear is of jotting down whatever comes to mind and calling it poetry. Perhaps it works that way, but if the goal is to involve or entertain readers, something must be said in a meaningful way. A weakness in one’s words can cause an immediate reader disconnect.

For reasons I do not fully understand, I do not write a lot of free verse . . . but sometimes it just happens. Where Goes the Defeated just happened. It lacks any line meter, any rhyme or uniform stanza length. Its only convention to the closed forms of poetry is in each line ending with a punctuation mark.

I can only hope that I avoid that reader disconnect, and you will stay with me to the end.

By Mike Patrick

Flickr photo by feedingeyesphotographs

The armors tarnished now.
The shields are pitted.
Backs are bent under a load of defeat.
Heads are hung, for glory shines only on the victorious.

Behind are strewn the weapons of war,
Mixed with the blood and bodies of comrades;
Mixed with the smell of fear.
Where goes the defeated?
Who would carry their banner?

The evening mists cover living and dead alike in mute grayness.
Gone is the clash of swords.
Gone is the shout of valor.

Where goes the defeated?
Who would carry their banner?

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