The Napo challenge for today was to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place. The trebuchet, mangonel, or catapult sling was a siege weapon of choice against castles and enemies during the Middle Ages (500 to 1500AD). I like the sound of the word, trebuchet, especially when pronounced in French.
Other rabbit hole excursions while working on this prompt included diaspora literature (poems), mango, metonym, and 7th Century classic poetry compiled by Confucius. But what the Hell? I had all day (sarcasm).
A sling toss of a single stone
When David slew Goliath, made
Profound religious history, in theory.
Rome grew in a millennium,
Then died. Dark times rose
From those civil ashes, a beastly age.
From the hands of naked boys
To the age of sling-shot artillery:
The trebuchet. A French feast of fright.
Stones and bones, living or long dead,
Fodder with missiles from mangonel
Machines to crush citadel and castle walls.
Thunder carriages bring down life
With strikes of slow siege and certain
Pillage, rape, death, and lifelong slavery.
Now ancient artillery, the trebuchet pales
Beside man’s modern tech-machines of death.
Is cold hearted mankind the final stone?
Look both ways to war,
that human endeavor we can’t seem to stop.
Mind the gaps, the sound of peace is often war at rest.