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annh Nov 2020
We burrow where they lie, our fallen brothers. Old sweats and fledgling crow bags, both. In death as in life, they have our back…and so we plough on into the abyss by the light of a caged phosphorus flare, hot metal spraying the midnight hour like some vengeful fay’s buckshot.

A human scaffold supports us for the distance of four miles. That’s Piccadilly to Hampstead; Circus to Heath. The length of a lifetime…of  hundreds of lifetimes. In the winter when the rains come and the trenches run like a quartermaster’s latrine, the soil sloughs away to reveal the ossuary within. It is then that I, in my now customary delirium, imagine that I can reach out to shake their hand again.

‘Sunrise and sunset are blasphemous…only the black rain out of the bruised and swollen clouds…is fit atmosphere in such a land. The rain drives on, the stinking mud becomes more evilly yellow, the shell-holes fill up with green-white water, the roads and tracks are covered in inches of slime, the black dying trees ooze and sweat and the shells never cease…they plunge into the grave which is this land.’
- Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age
I find that I am afraid
            yet you're the one who's flying.
The empty nest?  A cavern.
            No clue what to think; what to do.
How does one proceed?
            What's the point of crying or trying
                          to hold a heart that's flown . . .
And that's the trouble;
            your heart, my heart,
                          all the same if the truth is known.
But you're the one with wings
            and you scare me with your fledgling flight.
I will be ok, but right now,
            I am afraid of your height.
The baby of the family -- brave but  untried, untested, tied to  my heartstrings and leaving the nest.
K Balachandran Nov 2017
Song bird,on the branch on the top,
of my tree of life, you wake me up
with sweet twitter, each day a new one,
to my bitter sighs you give your ears,
day and night and remain my true comfort,
in every change of weather, may it be
monsoon torrent, winter freeze or spreading gloom

Little bird you know this well
never ever would I take you for granted,
you are the spirit that bring me cheer,
keep my nest such a quiet space for peace.
take the fledglings,under your sturdy wings
keep your glad eye on my desires that
seldom sleeps day or night, till it's told.

In this nest, it's your hallow that fills, spills out, too
in every twig of this nest we built, is the mark
of your efficient beak, that worked to move it there!

Petite you are,but it's so deceptive
my talisman and shield, none but you are that,
if my songbird's eyes by chance fill,my heart bleeds!

— The End —