Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘war poem’

That is No Place for Birds

After heavy loss, sorrow stricken streets,
crushed towns, broken houses,

that is no place for birds
but still a robin sits and sings
on the gate
through the rainy window,
knows you’re sad, and waits.

After heavy loss, torn, convoluted earth,
shell holes, blood-stained muddy puddles,
lost young souls,
it has been one hundred years
since the Somme,

that is no place for birds
but they found perches
even on bare trees
with no leaves
even if the worms they
ate crawled out of the eye-
sockets of the dead,
they were fed
singing still, knew the
sadness in the air,
and waited still.

In my dreams that
I cannot control
a shock of living
re-living in a
make-believe dream world,
a make-believe real world,

that is no place for birds
but a giant eagle appears,
tucks me under his wing
to rest on his warm breast
to keep the bad noises out,
he knows my sadness
he lets me sing
and waits.

Kyle McHale       2016

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Where My Father Stepped

I have known the path trodden
through forest floor dirt
where my father has stepped,
the woods in the east whose
leaves hold that warm green
golden light of summer
whose forest rivers
clear and bronze
cast down through smooth stones
cut through steep hills
and hold his best footprints,
where my father stepped and left
parts of his heart on young hearts.

I have known the tragedy
of his bravery after war,
muddy jungle rotting steps
he took far from home
to watch friends step
their last steps
to watch friends gasp
their last breaths.

I have known his last steps,
those shuffling struggling sickness steps
and the march of Marine brethren
who carried him his final steps,
those were his feet
and his feet those
marching linked by spirit
breaths the fate
some soldiers chose.

He has known my first steps in a
humbling father’s joy to see an
early life after taking lives
thanking God my guns were toys.

I know now he steps where I step,
just ahead or just behind
our earthly wrongs matter not
even though he has left
I have known where
my father stepped.

Kyle McHale 2015

Read Full Post »

What is Left?

After death
what is left?
When heart break wins
what remains?
Melting skin and
spirit sweats,
what is there and
what has left?
Broken dreams or
family gone,
so it seems some
more sad songs,
life remains, life remains
but what is left?
One more time or
every time
a mirror shows a
sad soul blind
to all the wonders
that are left,
that are left,
after rage, war, and death.

The world is
still there somehow,
love is left,
love is left,
If only it filled
every breath.

 

Kyle McHale         2014

Read Full Post »

Twenty-One Shots

On a blue October day twenty-one shots
echoed through my heart,
jolted me back into the current moment,
where my thoughts had wandered
back to Pop-Pop’s firing salute years before,
this time empty shells hit the ground
and heavy blasts hit the air for my father.

Warriors get what they deserve at Arlington,
where their heavy hearts can rest.
Left here with our troubled hearts.
Rest well and forever,
whatever losses life gave you
have been given back.

Have you ever seen Marines fold a flag?
I’ll only see it once,
Marines in perfect symmetry,
folding the flag over my father,
ceremonial, sad, perfect,
brothers honoring each other
separated only by time.

I’ve had family in every American war.
Dad said he went to war so
Kevin and I did not have to.

God, I hope I deserve not
to see combat. I hope all
their blood has been enough.
God, I hope I live well enough
knowing there is a burden
they carried that I will
never be able to repay.

 

Kyle McHale                         2014

Read Full Post »

Toy Soldiers

A child with his soldier toys
Shoots and bangs his war time noise,
Knowing not the real cost
Of fallen brethren and true loss.

No one can fault the little ones
For thinking play time soldier fun,
For maybe raised on bravery,
A father dressed for full duty,

And back he comes from war alone
Blessed to see his child at home.
“Go on son with your soldiers play,
I’ll let you know the truth some day.”

Kyle McHale      2012

Read Full Post »