Peace of gravel

Once a gravel caught inside a soldier’s shoe
became a wound, that snowballed into pus
and soon his gangrened limb, was cut, and thus
the butterfly effect from stones was how,
though crippled, he was saved from slaughter
at the battlefield, where crosses mark the graves
of men, his friends we claim are heroes, brave
recipients of posthumous badges, fluttered
dead, by bullet butterflies, from wings that pulled
the strings of mortar hurricanes, from gunshot
aimed to put an end for double kingdoms
to begin a tale where still the end’s untold.
Let’s pray for rocks to cure the symptoms
and thus conclude in peace, this deadly plot.

Corpse of a horse by Otto Dix

Corpse of a horse by Otto Dix

Today I invite you to write about the butterfly effect at toads, my effort was a little bit a double butterfly of a soldier saved from slaughter and the shots in Sarajevo that triggered the word war one that probably has not ended yet. A kind of sonnet sort of.


May 29, 2016

41 responses to “Peace of gravel

  1. Hot damn. This is one of your finest pieces of work. Absolutely fabulous.

    You know how hard I was swooning over the first three deliciously grotesque lines.

    And you get a big “Wow” for this: “by bullet butterflies, from wings that pulled / the strings of mortar hurricanes”

  2. Let’s pray for rocks to cure the symptoms
    and thus conclude in peace, this deadly plot.

    This carries the full weight of an epigram. Such a solid commentary of human conflict, and how the smallest thing could prevent it from spiralling out of control.

  3. Love the idea, the philosophy, the cry for peace and how they all are woven effortlessly into what should have been a difficult poem!

  4. That which has the potential to kill us often keeps us alive – in a strange way and sometimes not as positively as this butterfly effect.. a sobering poem which grated like grit in an open wound (in a good way of course!)

  5. ‘fluttered
    dead, by bullet butterflies,’–just a perfect phrase, and you nail the idea of how we never know what comes of events in our lives, how so often the most tragic of things we regret actually saves us from something far worse–just at a cost. Great challenge Bjorn–thanks for the push to write.

  6. A pretty amazing poem, and an unusual – but very valid – take on the butterfly effect.

    • Also a touch of grovel, perhaps. And maybe grave all. Which makes me think of gravy, which soldiers love, you know. 😉

  7. Life can be changed, by the smallest thing, which we overlook, on a daily basis. The butterfly motif, within the trans-community, is a symbol of courage and change, which you poem talks about so elegantly, Bjorn.

  8. I got all holy with your poem, the end that is untold, and prayer for a new turn. And then the vampire song made me smile. I will sober again, in time, to the profundity of your message and to the power of art/song to make us look twice.

  9. powerful stuff here, Bjorn. true, that shot at Sarajevo is still ricocheting today and into the future.
    the butterfly effect is interesting, sounds like science fiction stuff, but pretty much real world.

  10. This feels so fitting for Memorial Day this weekend in the US. Mainly because you are both praising (in a way) those who fight, while also critiquing the systems that create war in the first place. And, some really great lines, especially towards the end.

  11. Bjorn, this one left me with a heavy heart, in a good way. The imagery brought memories into my mind, unwanted memories that are still necessary… But the poem’s motif is pure light and hope. I love seeing the best in ugliness, embracing the goodness in bad… I shall “pray for rocks”. ♥♥♥

  12. The pains of war are never pretty and the injuries sustained visible or not visible few will ever understand. Good writing!

  13. Your poem is a deeply impressionable pebble for Peace seekers to thrown in the pond of hope
    Your imagery, vivid words, thematic expressions, and video, mesh in to a perfectly crafted piece

    Thank you for dropping in to read my my ‘butterfly response’ and also for popping into to my Sunday Lime today

    Have a nice Sunday

    much love…

  14. Bjorn, this is one of your best. I love how this comes around, the way something small was this man’s salvation. This is a wonderful story, so beautifully written.

  15. A very interesting tale, Bjorn! I like how you depicted the meaning of this effect. I also could not help but be reminded of the Once upon a time TV show, by the story (I hope you don;t take this as something bad, I of course think your poetic expressions are far better than anything I find on TV!)

  16. That such a very small thing, as a piece of gravel, could result in life over death, for one man, so thoughtfully captures the capricious, fickle nature of human existence – a concept we all wrestle with, at least periodically over the course of our lives. A haunting, introspective sonnet that expresses the ever shifting sands we – all of us – walk upon.

  17. It went in a slightly different direction than I thought it would at the start, but I really like that, because I think it strengthens the already powerful piece.

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