Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ghosts of Winter

It feels bitterly cold tonight. It's really only about 45 degrees out, which is much warmer than it is at home right now, but the contrast to the 100+ days we had so recently adds to the chill. The breeze is kicking up the abundant dust and toying with it. If it's true, as they say, that every snowflake has a tiny speck of dust as the base upon which the rest of the crystal grows, then this barren waste is crying out for a blizzard. I think the thing I like least about the cold here is that it always makes me feel a little bit more fatalistic- as if I've died already and just don't know it yet.

I was in a similar frame of mind a winter ago, and ended up writing a poem. I'm putting it up here, and I'm not sure why. It's not the best one I've ever written, in technical terms, but I think it's the one I love best. I hope it means something to someone.

Ghosts of Winter

That I should die in winter
And be buried in the snow
'Neath all that's white and pure
To lull the ghosts below

Slip me beneath the whitened tufts
Of summer grass layed sleeping
Leave me there to rest, alone
A hero's silence keeping

No misery in winter wind
No grief on glittering snow
Yet, hallow all who life rescind
That freedom there may go

On the air a last note echoes
The crowds have gone away
Drifting through marble meadows
Like snowflakes through the sky

Do no come and weep for me
The world is, as it should be
Life above, the dead below
Lying there, beneath the snow


  1. Anonymous3/12/06 18:05

    your posts make me ache sometimes...i'm not sure if it's because your words are so beautiful or because i just feel so much for you....

    keep yourself safe. and as happy as possible.

  2. A lovely poem. Just don't get too enamored with dying just yet--You've got a lot of life yet to live after this war is over.

  3. Ive been reading milblogs since 2004 when Colby Buzzell really lit the blogosphere on fire with his blog "MY WAR". Since then I've come across so many blogs by people who are putting their lives on the line for us as well as sharing their experiences.

    It's been an amazing journey and I'm no longer suprised at how much talent these bloggers possess.

    Impressed, yes. Surprised, No. That's an amazing piece of poetry you've penned and shared with us.


  4. I agree. Although I have just read your poem now so many months after you first posted it, it made me cry. I don't know why - maybe your vulnerability freaks me out, but it's good even if you don't think it's the most technically well done. For what it's worth, there is a woman sitting on her sofa in Virginia reading your writing and enjoying it. Sending you her best wishes for the new year.

  5. Wow, how emotional and eloquent. It moved me to tears. Definately the best poem I have ever read. And I'm a poetry reader, my favorites Frost and Hardy. Thanks for sharing your writing.