Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On Entering the Fray - Mag 160

Faun, Horse and Bird 1936 - Pablo Picasso

On Entering the Fray

The three come to the precipice
But only one looks down.
Another sneers and rears on back
Foot pawing at the ground –

A heady height, this mountain ledge -
Air thin and views obscured
Should they proceed on further
Ambitious, glory-lured ?

One faints with fear and gasps
A plea to stay below the fray
The other stamps and pushes on
Inpatient with delay

And one stoops low to contemplate
The nature of these wayfarers
A grasp at fate, a swoon and faint
He turns aside for prayer –

Let truth arise and fly up free
As we confront this day
Let all the froth of anger
In this blue be washed away.

Let meekness overcome the wrath
Of mighty tyrant's roar
And peace come to that valley
As it was, let it be more

And so they turn, rise on up
Turn back to hero’s chase
One eager, one with trepidation
The last with inner grace.

Each will earn a hero’s wreath
All in their ordered way
I wonder which one I might be
Were I present on that day ?

3/20/13 - edits, to follow

Note: Some awkward lines still need work here … but this piece fell together, as I contemplated the nature of war and battle and confronting fears and pushing limits. The classic nature of the image reminded me of the romantic and sometimes lyrical (?) nature of the poetry of the 19th century soldiers, hence the rhyme and rhythm of the piece. 

This piece joins others submitted to Tess's weekly writing circle over at The Mag - pop over and see what others are sharing.


  1. You've posed an unanswerable question. How could we choose? I like your idea that he is turning aside to pray - nice twist.

  2. Marvelous work! I love the classic feel.

  3. The turning aside wins it for me. It struck me when I attempted this prompt, but I was unable to make much out of it, so I find this very impressive. Fine poem.

  4. Let truth arise and fly up free
    As we confront this day
    Let all the froth of anger
    In this blue be washed away

    Wonderful words to live by always!

  5. Oh, for inner grace! It is needed. I love this.