In the grass-sea a-buzz with the flies
growing fat on the faeces
and corpses the vultures have left,
I gaze at the battle-field sky,

carelessly blue — the same
as it was when we waited
to kill
and be slaughtered
adrenalin-anxious we watched
how soldiers (our foes),
were doing and being the same.

I whisper your name,
my soil-brother,
you being dust, assassin and martyr,
and that Winchester-rifle
you treasured as much as your
murderer did.

My pony is graced
by the grass growing rich
from the flesh of my brothers and foes;
carelessly grazing the battle-field
my horse reminds me
how senseless our banners and causes
have grown,
as the sky is as carelessly blue as before.

So this photo of a cow-girl on a horse made me think of all the dark stories on how “the west was won”. Just fiction but of course as a man I have thought a lot of what it could have meant if I was forced into killing. I did my service as most men in Sweden did, and I look back to myself with a gun and what I could have done.

For The Sunday Muse and The Poetry Pantry.

November 17, 2019

21 responses to “A-buzz

  1. The cold-eyed honesty of this is compelling. It floors me that there are still some pockets of humanity that romanticize war and bloodshed.

  2. Dark stuff brilliantly related, sir. My hat’s off.
    Our banners and causes have been senseless from the outset, sadly resulting in the grizzly scene you so ably relate here. Therefore, none of us are ever untouched.
    Best thing I’ve read in a while.

  3. You have painted a dark scene brilliantly Bjorn! I love the thoughts and pondering in this that show the vulnerability of humanity and his wars and aftermaths. Amazing writing!!

  4. The phrasing, the “carelessly blue” sky, and the speaker’s haunting return, all of it is a quiet but overwhelming image of violence.

  5. my horse reminds me
    how senseless our banners and causes
    have grown,
    – what a wonderful take on that picture, a timely poem with a strong message.

  6. Sea-grass set me off and it turned where I wasn’t expected. Love the careless blue. Very powerful reflections and images. The horses have better sense!

  7. Such a powerful message in this one, Bjorn! ❤️ I especially love the poignancy in; “my horse reminds me how senseless our banners and causes have grown, as the sky is as carelessly blue as before.”

  8. I especially hate that horses and dogs are taken into battle – how terrifying it must be for them. Have you seen the movie Meagen Leavey? True story about she and her bomb sniffing dog in Afghanistan. I cried my eyes out.

  9. “Carelessly blue” – for me this phrase carries within it all the emotion of this entire, thoughtful, complex piece. Painful contrasts. Really very stirring.

  10. ‘as the sky is as carelessly blue as before.’ What a close … well really, the repetition of ‘carelessly’ throughout is so impactful. It’s like an affront … not to war … but to sacrifice. This is very, very good, Bjorn.

  11. Brilliant poem, beautiful despite the theme. It’s important to think of these things and confront the real possibilities – and I am glad you have not had to face such a situation in fact.

  12. Although most of us see the sense in your words sadly there are others that are happy tpo stir the pot and encourage fighting as it is so profitable to some selling vehicles and armaments to prospective combatants. Thus there have been never ending wars in the Middle East and elsewhere on Earth for over half a century.

  13. The first feeling this poem drew out of me was revulsion. Then I read your note, and thought, This is freaking perfect!. I’ve always felt disgust when I read about the details of how, “the west was won”. Those feelings stay very closed to those that bubble when I think of the “discovery” of America.

  14. Apt, particularly as it was Remembrance Sunday out here a few weeks ago. I guess in a sense we are all soil brothers – whether we die at war or from the wearing out that comes from living….

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