ONLY THE GRASS

Poets United’s Thursday Think Tank #59, http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2011/07/thursday-think-tank-59-grass.html, gave us a prompt of, “Grass.” No process notes today. This one is too personal.

ONLY THE GRASS
by Mike Patrick

The grass is uniform,
mowed to perfection, leaving a field
marred only by the lines of tombstones
stretching to infinity.

The wars of a nation
enshrined under a green mat,
disturbed only by the gun salute
as another warrior is honored.

The ceremonial flag is presented
on behalf of a grateful nation,
but forgotten after two generations.

Only the grass remembers.
Only the grass remains
to cover a nation’s loss.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Death, Free Verse, Freedom, Poetry, Poets United, Un-rhyming, Warriors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to ONLY THE GRASS

  1. Susannah says:

    Oh this is really excellent. Nice writing Mike!
    “Only the grass remembers.
    Only the grass stays behind
    to cover a nation’s loss.”
    That ending is so powerful.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very moving Mike. I should think it should be personal to everyone. Not to get into politics or street wars, too many die for the wrong reasons. Your words touched me.

  3. Ella says:

    Wow, so haunting, so sad! My husband is in the Navy and wants to retire in this final green mat.
    Powerful and so true~ Great job!

  4. Hating war and fighting as much as I do, it was hard to read this poem without tears. There are mindblowing huge cemeteries near here for World War II victims. Your bittersweet poem is a good memorial.

  5. siggiofmaine says:

    This is beautifully written…sad but true words.
    Thanks for your sharing the truth of a nations collective memory.
    ☮ Siggi in Downeast Maine

  6. A lovely tribute to those who have served, and fallen.

    What I find shameful is that so many of these braves have been mixed up and placed with the wrong remains and the wrong names on headstones, how they can possibly do that when this is their last resting place is beyond me.

  7. kaykuala says:

    1. It’s the tragedy of warfare.The good die young and laid side by side mourned only by loved ones for just 2 generations. Only the carpeted greens can sometimes bring back the memories.
    2. Your romp along the fairways and missing the manicured greens is a common story for many weekends all over. Sometimes golf can create real tensions when it’s supposedly a relaxing pastime. Yes, it’s shady among the trees. Happy golfing!

    Hank

  8. thingy says:

    You are right. We/I will forget them, but they are with us in every free act we have. Is that enough to honor them?

  9. Swapna says:

    Touched by words n thoughts.i re-read again n again.

  10. 1sojournal says:

    Would that the meticulous effort and constant care given to these grounds had been present before those grounds were necessary. Well writtten, thought provoking, and deeply effective.

    Elizabeth
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/

  11. brian says:

    ok def an emotional write…and it echoes well in the heart and mind…second line, would change the to a perfect field….also second stanza and option might be…

    History under grass, wars of a nation,
    enshrined under a green mat,
    disturbed only by the gun salute
    with each fallen warrior, honored.

    it is delicately penned to show honor for sure…

  12. christi moon says:

    Mike—this is an incredibly powerful tribute to our fallen heroes.

    I think there is some redundant phrasing (IMHO) that you can strip out to make this more commanding.

    Here are some suggestions and please feel free to keep or toss to the curb:

    The grass is uniform, manicured;
    [mowed to perfection. The perfect field,]
    marred only by the lines of tombstones
    stretching to infinity.

    [History under grass]
    The wars of a nation,
    enshrined under a green mat,
    disturbed only by the gun salute
    as another warrior is honored.

    The ceremonial flag is folded
    [and presented] on behalf of a grateful nation,
    [but it is] forgotten after two generations.
    [Only the grass remembers]
    Only the grass stays behind
    to cover a nation’s loss.

    So it would look like this:

    The grass is uniform, manicured;
    marred only by the lines of tombstones
    stretching to infinity.

    The wars of a nation,
    enshrined under a green mat,
    disturbed only by the gun salute
    as another warrior is honored.

    The ceremonial flag is folded
    on behalf of a grateful nation,
    but it is forgotten after two generations.
    Only the grass stays behind
    to cover a nation’s loss.

    I really enjoyed this Mike, stellar tribute.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I wondered about S2L1 every since I wrote it. There is something that feels . . . flip, not of the some somber tone as the rest of the poem. It’s going to take some time to go over all these recommendations, but I love this process.

  13. Carys says:

    This is such a poignant piece and one we seem to revisit with every generation. It’s a subject that’s written about a great deal and the trick is to find a new way to present it, a fresh approach and I feel you’ve managed that here by focussing on the grass. I think you could trim it slightly (no pun intended honestly) just a few redundant words here and there – the odd ‘the and ‘and’ but other than that I really can only offer praise for this solemn measured piece.

    The grass is uniform, manicured;
    mowed to perfection. Perfect field,
    marred only by lines of tombstones
    stretching to infinity.

    History under grass.
    The wars of a nation,
    enshrined under a green mat,
    disturbed only by the gun salute
    as another warrior is honored.

    The ceremonial flag is folded,
    presented on behalf of a grateful nation,
    but forgotten after two generations.
    Only the grass remembers.
    Only the grass stays behind
    to cover a nation’s loss.

    Just a suggestion of course. I have to say, reading it through again, your ending is stunning, really stilled me, and that doesn’t happen often. Great write.

  14. Carys says:

    I just realised that Christi had already commented on this one, ahh well, you get two for the price of one! 🙂

  15. Tom Eliot says:

    Again I am Late to the Bar and i see you have some outstanding feeback already. Carrys has made some deft changes which could do your great work credit.

    I would add that – for personal reaons this poem hit me in the core, I struggle to write in this fashion but if i could do it i would probably say something like this.

    pois moi vous touchez l’untouchable

    I shall re visit this piece many times im sure

    Thank you for sharing this one.

  16. You write to this theme so effectively and you know my response!

  17. Laurie Kolp says:

    Mike- Love this just the way it is!

  18. I think it’s very well done indeed. I love the air of melancholy calm you have created, which is exactly what I’ve felt in cemeteries.

    I’d change ‘manicured’, as manicured grass is something of a cliché. Also I think I’d like to see the last three lines as a separate verse, bringing out that powerful conclusion even more strongly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s