We Gazed Upon Their Bones

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Two poems, written for the picture, very different, and yet with the same first line.

Their Bones I

We gazed upon their bones that day
Their bones, bare, gutting sky
Our souls impaled upon their grief.
The fallen sentinels lie
Upon the killing field of hate
With fingers lifted high.
They are gone, gone, gone, whisper we
Too numb as yet to cry.
Boned hand breaks through the grievous waste
Of lives we won’t deny.
“I failed them all, I could not stand,”
Repeated creaking sigh
As twisting steel gave way at last
To hear the fallen cry
“We lived, we loved, we are no more
And no one tells us why.”
This hand remains with bones of steel
And shows us all thereby
That terror’s reign must not prevail
No matter who may die.
Fight on, fight through, the bare bones call,
Becomes a battle cry
For going on, for living still
So terror to defy.
The hate forgot what wisdom says:
Let sleeping giants lie.
We stumbling rose and drew the sword
Our shout was heard on high
Hate cannot keep us on our knees
No matter how it try
For even in the throes of death
Bare bones still pierce the sky.

Their Bones II

We gazed upon their bones that day
The steel and hammered bones
Laid bare before our eyes
As never should have been
Some secrets should be kept
Steel bones should not twist and creak and die
We hear bone’s death echoes whispering
“I failed, I failed them all there in my trust.
I could not stand and give them shelter here.
My dying stole their precious lives.
I failed, I’ve fallen, craven, made killing field
Of my own once proud place.
I reach with all the strength that’s left
My fist unto the sky,
A plea to bring hate down.
The death of innocence will rouse the giant’s breast,
But guard your hearts, you who remain
For hate’s seed’s been sown here.
This killing field is quite enough;
Don’t hate, for hating means they win.
The innocent live among them too.
Take no delight in blood and death
And mirror the dark souls who brought me down
For hatred’s sake, to prove it right,
To give reason to their lies.
We did not hate before today;
There was no war on god or creed;
Make no such war for vengeance’s sake
Or all who die on hate’s killing field
Will bloody lie forever more.
Let them rest, give them peace,
Oh, guard your hearts from hate!”

[photo credit given on the image itself]

About suzanawylie

Suzana Wylie is the not-very-pseudo pseudonym of Susan Wylie Wilson, because let's face it, there are lots of Susan Wilsons around, and as an author, I want readers to find ME and not the bazillions of others. I've been writing all my life - since I learned to hold a pencil anyway - and can't NOT write. Other people have to breathe to live; I have to write.
This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to We Gazed Upon Their Bones

  1. M. Peters says:

    Such terrible, gorgeous imagery, Su – this was a beautiful tribute,

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