American men and women at war,
fighters. May I call them warriors?
For their military service
we want to thank them.
only they understand.
Only they feel it.
Requisites are hated enemies,
courage, weapons, desire for glory, fear,
comrades, pride; and a cause
to die for, one worth killing for.
They carry much.
To fear death, or not? To love
and despise simultaneously?
Is war forever part of humanity?
Are we the only creatures
that kill our own for no reason? Just to kill.
To cause death unnecessarily?
Is that combat?
Look both ways for glory and dishonor.
Mind the gaps between mind, heart, and soul.
Awakened hours before sunrise,
he must guard, lest they come and kill;
this boy filled with fear and shock,
barely 19, taught to hate and kill,
now loyal to his clan, this new family,
his only friends, his only protection
as war has become his real world.
Miserable, hardened in every way,
unsympathetic, unimaginably deadly,
drawn to flashing light, learning
what he never wanted to know, addicted
to the battle, to the intoxicating fight.
He celebrates life with death, seeks random
revenge where none is possible,
has forgotten questions, never asks why,
lives in his personal accepted hated hell.
Sunrise lifts despair from his soul.
He smiles, alone, at the light of life,
happy to survive one more night.
He looks for answers, for that part of him,
now dead because he kills without a care.
Can he ever again be who he was born to be?
Look both ways to find another view.
Mind the gaps where questions decay away.
Let’s roll out monsters, goblins, ghouls, and all the fantastic creatures that existed in the minds of men and women from before anyone could write until the present day. Fantasy is not fake when we believe it; and we have for over 100,000 years of human imagination from which to draw. Unfortunately, writing is only about five or six thousand years old. But going way back in time, our innate human ability to imagine is phenomenal. That is my reveal: fantasy creatures displayed front and center.
From angels to zombies, I will select fantastic creatures from legend, fairy tales, fables, and myth. From poems, books, and stories, and from cultures around the world; I will package up those delectably stunning and enchanting fantasy life forms and bring them to you in words and forms.
During April we all do a lot of reading and writing. If you count taxes, arithmetic too. It is a busy, but fun-filled month. I shall attempt brevity and will only present one or two creatures per day beginning with “A” on Sunday, the first day of April, for the 2018 A to Z Blog Challenge.
As my trailer here, I present two Celtic kings: The Forest King, better known as the Oak King or sometimes as Green Man, along with his nemesis, The Holly King, often depicted as a woodsy version of Santa Clause.
Semiannually, these two battle and fight to the death for supremacy. One time per year, each defeats the other. Depending on the culture and beliefs, a final battle is on summer and winter solstices, or, and more logically, at the time of the Fall or Spring equinoxes. During summer, the Oak King reigns. The Holly King kills the Oak King and reigns in the winter. It is the classic holly vs. ivy symbolic battle called out in King Henry VIII’s, Green Groweth The Holly.
The battle is also echoed many times in other myth and folklore such as the fights between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or Lugh and Balor in Celtic legend. In all cases, one must die for the other to triumph.
Regarding such battles and the killing of one king, god, or man, George Frazer wrote,”But we have seen that the very value attached to the life of the man-god necessitates his violent death as the only means of preserving it from the inevitable decay of age.” They are two essential parts of the whole (seasonal reality) that battle all year long. Despite being enemies, without one, the other would no longer exist. Sort of reminds one of yin and yang, doesn’t it?
Look both ways in all seasons of life. Mind well the gaps.
Note: I will be participating in the National Poetry Writing Month challenge separately. Those poems will be identified as NaPoWriMo. This means that during April “Our Literary Journey” will have two posts each day, and one on Sundays after the first.