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> FLASH IN THE PAN, Some images never fade . . .
Thoth
post Jun 4 13, 16:16
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. . .

In wartime, lights in the night usually signify something bad is about to happen – somewhere!

Breaking the stillness; a bump in the night!
Is that the start of an Eighty-one’s flight?
Payload of chaos to no one knows where
till H.E. and shrapnel light up the air.

Bursting in splendour, bright star in the sky,
Icarus riding a thousand foot high.
Just for a minute she dazzles the eyes
then swinging in circles, gradually dies.

Lazy green fire-flies, starting out slow
floating through darkness – all in a row.
Lazy green fire-flies rapidly change
to green killer-hornets streaking up-range.

Flickers of lightning! (A storm's overdue?)
Katyusha's big daughter, the one-twenty-two
shrieks overhead like a flaming banshee;
the zone near her grounding you’d rather not be.

Lurking in shadow, as patient as Jobe,
mine waits a victim to press on its probe,
renting the soul with a blast out of hell;
a few have survived their story to tell.

Of battle aurora commanding the night,
nothing’s as heinous as one out of sight.
Tiny hot flash of a rifle well aimed
could modestly signal “Your life has been claimed!”



Notes:
“Eighty-one” – 81mm NATO calibre Medium mortar. The Russian version had an 82mm bore.
“Icarus” – Hand launched parachute flare, also known as “thousand foot flare”.
“Katyusha” – Russian nickname of the older 82mm artillery rocket also known as “Stalin’s Organ” .
It was superseded by the powerful 122mm projectile with a range of up to 30 km.
Other references are to; machine gun tracer fire, mines and booby-traps.
Reason for edit: added IBPC winner image


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Larry
post Jun 4 13, 23:57
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Hi Wally,

Been there and done that (well maybe the calibers were different). It brings to mind a fire-fight going on while off in the distance, "Puff" (nickname for C-130 with 6 pilot controlled mini-guns) went for a walk through the jungle on six green legs which sounded like a million irate hornets. Sweet music to a company or platoon pinned down by enemy fire. I try to not think about those things or times even though all the memories weren't that bad (just a few of them!).

War is always hell and one keeps in the forefront of their mind your summation. There is one out there with your name on it!

Didn't see any crit marks and you wouldn't get any from me because your description is spot on!


Larry


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When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.
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Kindness is a seed sown by the gentlest hand, growing care's flowers.
Larry D. Jennings

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Eisa
post Jun 5 13, 17:25
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A very moving and well written poem, Wally. Thanks for sharing.

Snow Snowflake.gif


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Psyche
post Jun 6 13, 00:49
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Great poem, Wally. Brings the reality of war to the forefront.

Appears to have perfect metre and rhyme, as well.

To think that nowadays all is changing. Drones...the 'pilot' just presses a gadget from very far away.

But we don't know what this new sort of warfare might bring. Something worse? Drones overhead, everywhere?

Thanks for posting, I enjoyed the read.

Hugz, Syl***


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"There is no life higher than the grasstops
Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction."

Sylvia Plath, Crossing the Water, Wuthering Heights.



Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

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Thoth
post Jun 6 13, 06:42
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Hi Larry, Snow and Syl,

Thank you for popping in and commenting.


Yes, it's now been over 35 years since the bush war. (and Vietnam too) and our generation is rapidly passing on. Sadly, there is always a war raging somewhere

I have a lot of war poetry and stories but very little ever posted/published (or even shared with friends and family for that matter.) Partly due to the personal nature of the experiences and also because its a subject many find distasteful or hold strong opinions on. Unpleasant as it is, war is a reality that that cannot be swept under the table or will go away by ignoring it. Many of history's greatest bards sharpened their first pencils on the battle field.

This piece is fairly innocuous, a battle can be quite entertaining to watch until it gets close and personal. 99.9 % of a soldier's time is spent patrolling, waiting or observing so during that time much is seen and remembered that may actually have no bearing on the battle or the war.

Weapons technology may evolve with time but the duty of the infantry soldier has not really changed throughout history. Someone has to actually go there, do the dirty work and clean up the mess.


Cheers,

Wal


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Peterpan
post Jun 6 13, 07:40
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Hello Thoth
Just checking in! See you are not letting up on the ink! Well done!
This is an amazing poem.
B


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Psyche
post Jun 12 13, 01:49
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Interesting remarks, Wally. Indeed, wars seem to never end. And some are so terribly pointless. Well, all of them.

Do post some of your war poetry, Wally. If some members find them distasteful, controversial or whatever, that's their problem.

I understand that the coming catastrophes will be brought about by cyber attacks on whole cities. A cyber attack on an airport alone can cause disaster. Just about everything is liable to be collapsed. That sort of war will eliminate whole populations...wow...or humankind.

So dust off your poems and pick some we can nit-pick at...LOL...

Hugz, Syl***



QUOTE (Thoth @ Jun 6 13, 09:42 ) *
Hi Larry, Snow and Syl,

Thank you for popping in and commenting.


Yes, it's now been over 35 years since the bush war. (and Vietnam too) and our generation is rapidly passing on. Sadly, there is always a war raging somewhere

I have a lot of war poetry and stories but very little ever posted/published (or even shared with friends and family for that matter.) Partly due to the personal nature of the experiences and also because its a subject many find distasteful or hold strong opinions on. Unpleasant as it is, war is a reality that that cannot be swept under the table or will go away by ignoring it. Many of history's greatest bards sharpened their first pencils on the battle field.

This piece is fairly innocuous, a battle can be quite entertaining to watch until it gets close and personal. 99.9 % of a soldier's time is spent patrolling, waiting or observing so during that time much is seen and remembered that may actually have no bearing on the battle or the war.

Weapons technology may evolve with time but the duty of the infantry soldier has not really changed throughout history. Someone has to actually go there, do the dirty work and clean up the mess.


Cheers,

Wal



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Mis temas favoritos



"There is no life higher than the grasstops
Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction."

Sylvia Plath, Crossing the Water, Wuthering Heights.



Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

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Cleo_Serapis
post Jul 21 13, 12:45
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H Wally,

I cannot believe I missed this post until now! I find it very poignant and feel it should have a larger audience if possible.
Would you mind my nominating it for the next IBPC comp? There is one coming up at the end of this month if you read this, and give your nod of approval.

A few minor crits for you to nibble on below to T or T.

Breaking the stillness; a bump in the night!
Is that the start of an Eighty-one’s flight?
Payload of chaos to no-one knows where
till H.E. and shrapnel light up the air.

Above I would change that to: no-one-knows-where OR remove the hyphen to "no one".

Later where you mention fire-flies - I type it as fireflies - but I think both are fine.
Lazy green fire-flies, starting out slow
floating through darkness – all in a row. **Here, I would say 'in a neat row'. for smoother rhythm but is it a neat row?
Lazy green fire-flies rapidly change
to green killer-hornets streaking up-range.

Flickers of lightening! (a storm's overdue?) **capitalize the 'a' please.

Enjoyed the read. Read.gif
~Cleo


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Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

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Thoth
post Jul 21 13, 16:48
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Thank you Lorri.

I made those suggested grammar corrections thanks.gif as well as removing the "is" after Icarus which upset the metre. Icarus is pronounced with a leading stressed syllable; ik-a-ris although some may pronounce it i-ka-ris ohmy.gif

Thanks for the IPBC nom - yeh, send it off then, its worth a shot. turkey.gif hsdance.gif dance.gif

Hugz


Wally


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Cleo_Serapis
post Jul 21 13, 18:42
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Fabulous Wally! nicerev.gif

I will update the IBPC thread now with your changes - if you make any more before the end of this month, please let me know. We'll have to see what the judge thinks if your poem wins a placement -it's a tough subject for some.

Best,
~Lori galadriel.gif


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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

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Maureen
post Jul 21 13, 19:23
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Only nit pick I would have is the spelling of lightening s/b lightning.

This is a fabulous write Wally - thank you so much for sharing it. I have had a fair amount of my Military poetry accepted by The International War Veterans Association site - I am sure they would be very interested in taking yours, heres a link -

http://iwvpa.net/

Cheers

Maureen


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Cleo_Serapis
post Sep 15 13, 15:14
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Much congratulations Wally!! Your poem has just placed third for the August IBPC. cheer.gif cheer.gif cheer.gif

Here are judge Robert Sward's comments about it:
QUOTE
Third prize goes to author of "Flash in the Pan" with its effective use of rhyming couplets (and four-line stanzas) to describe a night-time artillery battle with mortar shells, hand-launched parachute flares (also known as "thousand-foot flare") and Katyusha, AKA "Stalin's Organ."

"Flash in the Pan" is an "action poem" that opens with a frightening exchange of fire, "a bump in the night? / Is that the start of an Eighty-one's flight? / Payload of chaos to no one knows where..."

A scene experienced from a distance before the camera, so to speak, zooms in close on a soldier, a single individual, at least as I read it, "Tiny hot flash of a rifle well-aimed / could modestly signal 'Your life has been claimed.'"

Hats of to a poet who can write about war (possibly in Afghanistan?) and doing so in rhyming iambic pentameter lines, i.e., ten-syllables to the line, two rhyming couplets to each stanza. There's a slight sing-songy quality that actually works for the poem, momentarily lulling the reader into a relative quiet, a dangerous quiet which, moments later, will be shattered by "shrieks overhead like a flaming banshee..."

Ambitious, a poem suggestive of a war veteran author, a poet with battle scars, and I like, too, the appropriate references to "Job" and "Icarus" which, in this context, feel right, that is, they seem to me "earned" and function as something more than decorative elements.

--Robert Sward


http://ibpc.webdelsol.com/poems/flash-in-the-pan

I KNEW this one deserved a larger audience. It's potent and worth the moving read. Read.gif
YAY for Wally! dance.gif Balloons.gif hersheyskiss.gif

Congrats!
~Cleo galadriel.gif


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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to." ~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Collaboration feeds innovation. In the spirit of workshopping, please revisit those threads you've critiqued to see if the author has incorporated your ideas, or requests further feedback from you. In addition, reciprocate with those who've responded to you in kind.

"I believe it is the act of remembrance, long after our bones have turned to dust, to be the true essence of an afterlife." ~ Lorraine M. Kanter

Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

"Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up." ~ Early detection can save your life.

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Maureen
post Sep 16 13, 05:22
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A very worthy winner I would be thinking. Congratulations Wally

Cheers

Maureen


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Peterpan
post Sep 16 13, 07:01
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Hello Wally!

Congratulations! How wonderful you deserve this! I posted ages ago acknowledging its worthiness! You must be very proud!

Hugs~

Bev


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Thoth
post Sep 16 13, 11:05
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Thank you all,

I am most surprised by the outcome but delighted all the same. Thanks Lori for seeing the value in it ( so seldom a rhyming form gets into the finals)

Hugz,

Wal


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Keith Logan
post Oct 2 13, 00:09
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Hi Wally,

A well deserved prize. Time differences show, when my father served (second world war) that "no one knows where" reference would have been, heaven knows where. I also spell Job simply but the "e" certainly reinforces how it should be pronounced. The only place I would look for possible adjustment is fourth line of fourth verse.

Keith, the happy chappy
 
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Psyche
post Oct 2 13, 23:59
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Here I am, Wally, back for the third time, now to congratulate you on your well-deserved prize!

You did the magic trick of getting IBPC to take note of a rhyming poem!! You're to be doubly congratulated. I've no idea why they almost always prefer FV.

I'm so happy for you, as well as for MM. We must send in more. Remember that any member can nominate another's poem. You rhymers should nom eachother, you're all so good. Just say it in this forum, Lori will take care of the rest. Bye now!

Syl*** Balloons.gif


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Mis temas favoritos



"There is no life higher than the grasstops
Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction."

Sylvia Plath, Crossing the Water, Wuthering Heights.



Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more information, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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