Fear is life itself

The taste of fear is schizoid pure and red,
a piece of meat, it’s poppies lost and flown
from cries in mud and trenches darkly bled.

We harvested the fear from fields we’d sown
with honey dripping from the liars’ tongues.
This smell of fear is blood and broken bones.

We fought in fear and bled from broken lungs,
we bulwarked, starved, believed it’s more than right,
to maim our foes, the newborns and their youngs.

The sound of fear is sweat and starlit nights,
we waited as the jungle crawled inside
it came as rotting hands and ropes wound tight

around our necks the night we lost our pride
as life itself is fear a breath away from death.

Flanders by Otto Dix

A Terza Rima Sonnet for Marian at toads. Will also link up to Poetry Pantry tomorrow morning-
February 10, 2018

37 responses to “Fear is life itself

  1. Holy smokes! Superb job with the form. And the content/subject matter – so well captured in images, ambiance, essence – and with completely stunning lines …. that literally grip and pull you right in …. I love every stanza – each line is just so powerful and flows so well …. this is a poetic story – a harsh truth. Bravo Bjorn!

  2. Wow, such powerful metaphors – to evoke not only fear itself but also the associated grief and horror.

  3. Sheesh, Bjorn. This is a masterwork. You should be very proud of this. I love that every stanza captures a different angle or viewpoint of war — the successes and failures; the victors and the fallen; all those little moments of winning and losing. Brilliant poem.

  4. It’s late so mine won’t be linked until tomorrow but I had to stop by and see what you wrote tonight. Wow, I loved it! Deep emotional wounds. You described war in the hearts of men.

  5. What an unexpected subject for the sonnet but this tight form lends such potency to the images, I felt a part of the battlefield. Reality of war… not something to be forgotten in times of peace, for somewhere on the planet, war is raging on.

  6. Some great lines, Björn – the first stanza gripped me with ‘it’s poppies lost and flown
from cries in mud and trenches darkly bled’ , and you continue with more harrowing imagery from different conflicts. Marvellous, visceral write

  7. You’ve mastered the form with this one, Bjorn, and the language is so powerful:
    ‘The taste of fear is schizoid pure and red,
    a piece of meat, it’s poppies lost and flown
    from cries in mud and trenches darkly bled’
    ‘This smell of fear is blood and broken bones’

  8. kaykuala

    We harvested the fear
    from fields we’d sown

    One is partly contributory to the fear generated. Very true!


  9. Well this is graphic indeed and hopefully a reminder not to enter war with too much hope. I quite like the poetic form but haven’t really had time to try it out this week.

  10. I think you have captured the feeling of fear. I could feel it, as I read your words. Yes – “sweat and starlit nights” speaks reams. You write from inside of the feeling & put the reader right there inside the feeling too.

  11. Oh wow…this is one of your best! Deep, dark truth with agonizing imagery of what fear has lead us to….those ending lines hit me right between the eyes and deep into my very soul! This should be published my friend…..love it!!!!!

  12. Fantastic. This makes me want to write about fear but I don’t think I could come close to this.

  13. There are so many powerful lines in this. Your poem describes fear so well, I felt my own fears creeping into my own lungs. I like how you ended it – our fears are ultimately our fear of death. At least that’s what Freud thought.

  14. Fantastic job on this Terza Rima Sonnet. The form and the rhyme are masterful. The metaphors are brilliant. And your choice to write this in first person, is inspired.

  15. So elegant and beautifully written for such a heavy subject – and therein lies the brilliance. My efforts for this challenge are very stilted – your words flow with a grace that belies the fact it is a “form” challenge. Applause, applause.

  16. U.S. General.Sherman said “War is Hell.”
    (“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”)
    You wrote this sooo well. Bjor, as if your writer/speaker had experienced it. Still fitting the form without its mechanics distracting. BTW, I don’t watch war movies or read war stories.

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