The road of life


On roads of life where thistles grow
the iron-heels of soldier’s boots
are planting crosses row by row.
When passing us the men in suits
enjoy themselves, undress our girls.
The roads of life are built on bones
and we have fed the swines our pearls.
The roads of life turn blood to stones.


Today Bill wants us to write octet poetry inspired by Bilbo’s song at dVerse poetics. When I started to write my thoughts went to the way roads and railroads once where built, and the sacrifices of the navvies. So hence my little poem. See you when the bar opens at 3 PM EST.

25 responses to “The road of life

  1. When we take a road or a railroad, we rarely, if ever, think of all the hard work that was necessary and the lives that were lost. Your poem is a vivid and stark reminder.

  2. I too hear the echoes of “Flanders’ Fields”. This also causes me to think of the railroads built in the western part of my country by Chinese laborers – their privations and treatment. So many bones under the building of roads, buildings, bridges – all over the world.

  3. Good thing I checked back, as I had left a comment last night, which does not appear. So much loss of life in the course of progress, and sad that as time goes on we really don’t recognize this…your poem is an eye-opener.

  4. Railroads, canals, bridges… many of them were built with much human sacrifice. An unusual and sombre take on the prompt, but a good reminder.

  5. I truly went with the war imagery, roads as metaphor. Veteran’s cemeteries always make me sad. I like the line /the roads of life are built on bones/.

  6. I like how you wrote of the “roads” of life, not just a single road. I also liked your subtle Biblical references. Very well-written octet, indeed. Peace, Linda

  7. The first 3 lines reminds me of Flander’s poem too ~ The roads of life are indeed built on so many bones ~ Good one Bjorn ~

  8. Bones and blood and
    Blood and bones.. a case
    For peace is a place of
    Weeds to grow in stone…
    Ah.. the freedom is culture
    Undressed to feel the love
    Of soldiers who dare to free
    Hate from stones so cold…:)

  9. I’m sure many Swedes or navvies have contributed a great deal to their land and the world during wartime…it’s sad young lives are cut short…but the valor is remarkable and you pick that up in your poem.

  10. The road of life – what a loaded metaphor, indeed. “The roads of life are built on bones” really struck a chord with me. It was the dream of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald to build the Trans-Canada Railway to unit the recently confederated country. Many workers died fulfilling this dream. In particular Chinese workers in BC were treated abominably. It is estimated that four Chinese workers died for each mile through the Fraser Canyon.

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