It Isn't So With Man...
The clothing lay in tatters,
The fabric rent and torn,
The framework fairly shattered,
The spirit part forlorn.
The figure sprawled serenely,
Broken now, and bent,
The lifeblood spilled obscenely,
The body maimed and spent.
A golden aura forming,
Floating on the breeze,
Past the wind-swept forests,
Carried to the seas.
The figure's merely dust now,
And barely dust at that,
A formless shape, unmoving,
Crushed here, there collapsed.
The heroes can return now,
As only heroes can,
For heroes are immortal,
It isn't so with man.
Message Not Received
The guns they were ablaze that night, and night passed into
The tried and true were weakened through, but held as day was dawning.
Without a word, without a cry, the many soldiers lay,
Their bloody limbs and lifeless forms were far beyond all pain.
A thousand men lay down their lives, a message to be sent,
But bullets more, a hundred score, ignored the testament.
Another thousand by day's end, had made the sacrifice,
To show the damnéd enemy their work would not suffice.
There wasn't one among the dead that heard the final round,
That loosed the life from in his veins, and threw his body down.
They never saw the living come to pack them all away,
To be remembered only on some veterans' holiday.
The bodies all went home and lay in somber dress-right-dress,
In contrast to the disarray of dying's bloody mess.
It wouldn't do to have the men who ordered all the dying,
To see the carnage as it was, to hear the brethren crying.
When the Graying Comes
Where do men look when the graying comes?
How do they keep their smiles,
When the peaks have all been crossed,
And left behind by miles?
To know that the best is far behind,
That the rear-view is all that remains,
Must be a major bridge to cross
Whose toll is aches and pains.
It must be the memories that make it ok;
The ones that were forged in youth.
They come to life in the stories to tell,
If there's someone to tell them to.
And at night, what of the scary things;
The creatures that live in their heads?
Do they crowd around the aging men,
And squeeze them from their beds?
Perhaps their dreams more pleasant be,
Than I now realize.
Time will show what plays behind
A shrinking creature's eyes.
In youth a man looks upward,
Rarely if ever struck dumb.
But in age he looks quietly downward,
When the graying comes.