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Creek Running North

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May 27, 2005

In memoriam

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys! -- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
pro patria mori.

- Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918

Posted by Chris Clarke at May 27, 2005 03:47 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Look out, Mama, there’s a white boat coming up the river.......

Posted by: tost at May 27, 2005 05:50 PM
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A very moving collage. Well done. And sad.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden at May 27, 2005 10:57 PM
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It never changes, does it? Neither the justification, nor the reality. An ambtious effort, Chris. I hope a lot of people see it but I fear those who most need to, won't, and wouldn't accept the message if they did - as you point out, those people never have.

Posted by: beth at May 28, 2005 08:33 AM
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Heartbreaking. Thanks for posting this.

Posted by: KathyF at May 29, 2005 10:11 PM
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Very moving. Honored the poem and the poet as well.

Posted by: PSoTD at May 30, 2005 02:52 PM
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Again, I am moved to tears by what you have created-this time not tears of laughter, but just as powerful. It helps me to remember how trite and petty the shit I worry about all day really is. Thank you. Those that can not see will only be led to sight through our unrelenting efforts to throw the truth upto their eyes.

Posted by: limesalttequila at May 31, 2005 12:35 PM
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There are no fumbling, clumsy words that I could add that would do justice.

Thank you.


Posted by: ronniecat at June 2, 2005 05:22 AM
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