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The walking staff digs in a bit
on the pebble paved neat winding way
each time he steps and leans on it
on this bright clear late spring day.

Shadows recline in ordered rows
save for a tree's shade here and there.
All about lush green grass grows.
Far off a field lark sings somewhere.

A shuffling crunch, another pace
from the feeble, fading, limping guy
whose staggered stride still has strange grace.
Headstones salute as he goes by.

But his thoughts belie his age
as he recalls past days of youth,
those times of fear and hate and rage
when battle revealed glory's truth.

Then he blinks and looks around.
The thousand yard stare leaves his face,
remembered cannons' cease their pound.
He comes back to this sacred place.

A step then two and there they are
old friends' names carved into stone
who met their fates in lands afar.
Among old friends he stands alone

Unlike he , they never did grow old
for they were taken in their prime
so he recalls them young and bold,
unworn by strife, unmarked by time.

Then he wonders why he's not with them.
Was it really chance he was passed by
by that reaper dark and grim?
He salutes as one tear leaves leaves his eye.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
Whether the wars were just or unjust, we still owe those who fought them better than they're receiving.
Editing stage: 


Portrait of a gentle survivor, where memories win in the end.
Just the last line I have problems with:-
He salutes as one tear leaves leaves his eye.
A repeat of Leaves but would it not be better for him to cry as:-
He salutes, as the tears leave his eye.
I know that Eye should be plural to sound better, but that would mean the second line would then need editing.
Loved the words I have been trying to modify my piece to be harsh enough for the effect it has on the soldier that survived.
Take care both of you and hug a tree for me, Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I've been gone the past few weeks so I use that as excuse for not replying sooner lol. I'm not completely satisfied with most of the entire last stanza myself and hope to get an improved version out soon. I appreciate your visit..........stan

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