Blades of Grass

We, the last warriors of the world,

see our war-shattered realm as a was, and an is, and a what might yet be.

Strong is our connection.

The ones before had tears that dried in a barren land.

Only memories to tempt the blackened earth to sprout colour,

tendrils of greenery, and life, and wonders

that only exist in memories.

Our children will finally wash the blood from the stones.

Coax more than memories from this land,

that still skims along the tipping point,

still yet hoping for the sky’s return,

for soft, growing soil,

for grass.

The blades of grass daring to remain sprout from endless mounds of charred soil.

They have withstood all, bending, but not broken despite the heedless winds, despite the careless flames,

despite the tread of our oblivious feet.

We, the last of the chosen race, dominant beings of Earth,

sit in the ashes and fragments of our kin,

teaching morality tales, and myths of an ocean of people,

feasting on a river of food,

turning the world into a swamp of the rejected.

Dust in our mouths, the bitter fruit of knowledge.

Our war fought so long, the cause we have forgotten.

Lullaby a protest song, trying to remember the words.

Believe that that blood is thicker than water, neither should ever be spilt.

We, staggering survivors, witnesses of the fierce four steeds,

promised today to never deprive another of what we would not deprive ourselves.

To never behold tragedy and proclaim,

I have no power to relieve you of your suffering.

Though it took us to suffer to realise.

Lest we forget, must remind of not of who we lost, but why.

The reason of our pain, though not the sting of it,

gives us hope enough to sprout without fearing the fire.

For sprout we must.

We.

Nothing separates us now.

No status of humankind, no adornment of the skin.

There is nothing but the firm grip of one hand on another,

and the worth of the words we barter among ourselves.

Green with life as from the dead we rise.

We. Us.

We are the blades of grass.

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The Family

He’s been gone too long.

Those in the house, have not forgotten the face,

only the shape of the soul within.

With the awkwardness only a family

of unfamiliar people can have,

they welcomed and withdrew.

His mother, his father, his sisters, his brothers,

fully filling their home with their busy bustling

between buttering bread and placing plates,

the setters and the servers.

While he can only wait, watch,

outside of the rituals and routines,

written off years ago.

And so being apart felt familiar,

more than the noise of his nieces.

He climbs the hill that has always cradled his parent’s house in its lee.

He walks its scrub strewn streets,

its withered winding ways,

well worn when he, when they, walked them.

Explored time over in expeditions to the bedimmed beneaths of bushes;

Over lorded by older sister dynasties;

Devastated for dirty battles and strip-mined for staffs and stick weaponry.

Site of seed collections hoarded, lost, forgotten, sprouted.

He remembers the first time he took time to notice the roughness of a tree,

If he thinks hard, can feel the prickle of remembered bumps

ghosting his fingertips.

He stands by this tree,

Slowly dissolving,

The man’s coat no longer fits.

If he thinks hard he can still remember,

the security he felt inside his father’s car;

the pride in helping his mother’s gardening;

the sting of sibling unfairness,

and the warmth of sibling inclusion that even now in exclusion,

he can feel ghosting him just beneath the skin.

He feels it all so strongly here,

now.

Will it evaporate with the electric lighting, etching away the dark?

But that he could draw them out here between the trees in the dusk,

let the dimness dissolve the face’s features and the differences of the years.

Let loose all nieces,

their screams and chatters like a long echo,

to remind the adults of their story.

Mashed-up, remixed, retold.

Remembered.

This is one of my few poems published in a real book and you can find it in: Elements of time : past, present, future an Accentuate Writers anthology along with many fine authors of short stories and poems.