an army 'gainst the sky

by Peter Humphreys

as an old house
a sailing ship
upon the main
I listen
in the early morn
as life returns again
and as the windows
puff and blow
and old red tiles lift
to show
the ageing wood beneath
we cuddle naked
in our den
and wonder when
the world of men
will permit
our love to live
and as the pall of evening goes
and one by one
the tall trees show
an army 'gainst the sky
we touch
and sing
the song our mother gave
as shadows creep
my sister weeps
with fear
the day


Author's Note: I originally envisaged this as set in Bosnia but the orphans of war are everywhere.

Posted on 12/11/2006
Copyright © 2023 Peter Humphreys

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/11/06 at 06:03 PM

Powerful in its message, I love how the creaking house translates to the ship on the main which I can hear so plainly. I also love how the tall trees become an army and in my mind these become the strong wood that may just give us the strength we need to rebuild. Most excellent!

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 12/11/06 at 07:12 PM

Generous in image, stark in tone. Rather chilling, as it should be. Thanks.

Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 03/06/07 at 05:42 PM

Glad I caught up with this one, missed it when you first posted it. Vivid and strong and quite a message. I served, and saw the carnage. Great write

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