Friday, August 11, 2017

August 11: Unusually Tired, Cost of War, Walt Whitman, "Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night"

It has been a long week, and I find myself unusually tired this evening.  Usually, on Friday nights, I have a lot of energy, am excited by the prospect of having a few days off.  When I got home from work this afternoon, however, I sat down on my couch, put my head back, and promptly fell asleep.

Yes, I had a lot going on these last five days.  A reading, an open mic, a workshop.  Plus, 40 hours of work, and the stress of listening to Donald Trump goading North Korea toward nuclear war.  I wouldn't be surprised if everyone in the United States is sleeping on their couches.

A friend of mine posted pictures of the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings on Facebook this evening.  Terrifying, horrific pictures.  I think that anyone who supports the idea of nuclear war with North Korea should be forced to look at these pictures.  Sleep with them.  Have them taped to their bathroom mirrors.

Saint Marty thinks people need to be reminded of the costs of war.  Constantly.

Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night

by:  Walt Whitman

Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that day,
One look I but gave which your dear eyes return’d with a look I shall never forget,
One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach’d up as you lay on the ground,
Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested battle,
Till late in the night reliev’d to the place at last again I made my way,
Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body son of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool blew the moderate night-wind,
Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the battle-field spreading,
Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent night,
But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long I gazed,
Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side leaning my chin in my hands,
Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with you dearest comrade—not a tear, not a word,
Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and my soldier,
As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward stole,
Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift was your death,
I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we shall surely meet again,)
Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the dawn appear’d,
My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop’d well his form,
Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and carefully under feet,
And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son in his grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited,
Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and battle-field dim,
Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth responding,)
Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how as day brighten’d,
I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in his blanket,
And buried him where he fell.

No comments:

Post a Comment