The Battle of Antarctica

 

The battle of Lepanto

Where Cervantes lost a hand

The battle of Gallipoli, where

The artillery barrage had

Done no good

And so many Anzac soldiers

Died (like those in gray

with gingham inside led

Into Pickett’s charge)

The battle of Antarctica

It hasn’t happened yet

Except in novels, where it’s

Tragic that the last clean place on

Earth must have bomb-holes

And blood and other human

Wreckage wrought

Afterward, to stand as

Life-deserted monuments

For life had fled

We tore it out of bodies

As with the earth and sea

 

It’s what I think about

Today

While branches press on windows

Not invading but in greeting of

The day and even me

With a way of generous beauty that I

Do not understand

 

Conflict is small pain that grows,

Sometimes to tire me

In books

Though writers did not invent it

And readers have to learn

About it, again and again

‘Til nature stops, crestfallen

Due to our mistakes in self-destruction

Or, miracle of our making,

Stunned that we could get it

Right

Welcome “peace prevail” on poles (recycled)

Into

Every foxhole for repentance

And inside craters dug out with

Our bombs, before

 

With grace dispensed

Somehow

By human peace

 

C L Couch

 

 

No machine-readable author provided. Pablo-flores assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=334483

A Peace Pole in the neighbourhood of Empalme Graneros, Rosario, Argentina. The pole has four sides, with the message “May peace prevail on Earth” written in four languages; this pole shows the message in Guaraní and (barely) in Spanish. The other two languages are Toba and Italian. I, Pablo D. Flores, took this picture myself, in September 2005.