Oh what a war

This haibun is the first poem for this Armistice Day, for Frank Tassone’s prompt.

Well, here we are, waiting in the mild sunshine, the clouds scudding past from the south undecided—rain, or just passing through—for the sirens to sound and possibly the church bell to ring if they can find anyone to do it. The grass is golden in the sun, lush and green beneath the morning light, and the sky is blue. Trees dance, oaks hanging onto their greenery, the poplars tossing gold largesse of leaves. And when the sirens sound the eleventh minute, and some chasseur can’t restrain his trigger finger, and the bells finish pealing, and we all speak again with voices full of relief, what then? Another war over, a new one just begun, because, to paraphrase the song, those who don’t want it, don’t count.

always the sun

the moon the stars and autumn

that peels back

to the heart of things  


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Oh what a war”

  1. Always another way, and always the sun, moon, and stars to peel back to the heart of things. Wonderful, Jane.
    I think I remember you posting something from this movie before.

    1. I’m glad you like it. I did post the same clip from the film before. It seems to me to hit just the right tone; biting satire with absolutely heartbreaking scenes. It’s not done now to criticise anything to do with the conduct of the war. They were all heroes, even the generals.

      1. Chokes me up. I think it’s the way the soldiers connive with the way history has been written, portraying them as having sacrificed their lives for something good. They know that they have been sacrificed, but it’s easier for those who are left to accept that they were heroes.

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