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Poetry Originals #3: David Braziel

In: Showcase

Two new poems, 'Soldiers' and 'War Graves', from David Braziel.

Soldiers

We make them.

Choose them for 
their blunt handles,
their jagged edges,
their folded steel.

We shape them,
sharpen them,
weaponise them.

We make them stand.

Anywhere the enemy 
might get in, or out,
anywhere we have 
an interest.

They do the things 
we could not stomach,
they do the thing 
we should not stomach.

When they are finished,
blades snapped or 
hairline cracked or 
just too stained 
to ever be clean again,
we toss them out.

We make them stand on bridges.

On parapets, 
on high ledges,
or low wobbling stools. 

We make them,
We make them stand,
We make them stand on bridges.

War Graves

It is spring,
the grass grows again 
to the bases of these
attention-standing stones.

On the edge of sight
the quiet groundsmen work
to keep things orderly.

A shell-burst of flowers 
gives away the lie.

They didn’t die in ordered ranks
of tasteful black and gold.
Their bodies burst to crimson fire 
or slowly sank to deep, blue-velvet, cold.

Oh let the grass grow ungainly tall, 
let the stones relax their shoulders
and break ranks.

Send the groundsmen home,
give them their ease.

Give the dead our 
shame-filled sorrow
and our thanks. 

Picture for blog story Poetry Originals #3: David Braziel

David Braziel is the winner of numerous poetry slams, including at the Belfast Book Festival and Aspects Literary Festival amongst others, and represented Ulster at the All Ireland Poetry Slam final 2014. He is a founder member of the Lough Neagh Writers group, and was recently long-listed for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing.

David's chapbook 'I Am Not A Poet (and other poems)' is forthcoming from Pen Points Press.

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