Anthony W. Pahl


IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: May 20, 2005
Awarded: May 20, 2005
On the banks of the Murray,
or some other stream,
old veterans come home
to ponder and dream,
to shout at their demons
and pray to the Lord
that in dark and in light,
their heart’s in accord
with the fact that they are
who their pasts have prepared.
They can grow in that fact
or forever run scared.

They let off steam,
rant and rave;
shout aloud,
“Where am I?”
Where’s that callow young youth
who once reached for the sky?
Is he lost?
Is he dead?
Does his fear
and his dread
mean he’s missing,
he’s mad,
or that he’s been fed
to the demons of war
and the mares of the night
who wander around
hiding from light?

And it’s the light
not the darkness
that is seen
from the shore
because darkness
is nothing
except time
wanting more
from the day,
from the life,
from the warmth of the love
of those who DO know
and who offer the dove

And write, my old friends
write from your hearts
the lessons of youth
that war tore apart.
Be it rhyme
Be it prose
be it neither of those,
write it down
dear old friends
in a hand that is bold
write it down
for yourselves;
let everyone know.

Submitted for the May 2005 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Callow