Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fleurs du Artie

"Randall Stephens is a poet owing more to Rambo than to Rimbaud."

Well that's an idea for a poem, I thought. Or maybe ten. Thanks Randall!


Smoke twines around, about the bar
I peer at bodies through the haze
And seem to dream -
of paratroopers
Storming villages with guns
And military operations
In quaint, remote and foreign lands.

The water comes. I order coffee:
Long and black. The music plays,
Fantastic filigrees of sound -
I fall into a swoon again:

I pull the pin on yet another
Hand-grenade, and hurl it in the blaze.
A soldier screams - in pain or rage -
I shoot some automatic rounds
Into the point that made the sounds.
And, like a doctor's distant cough,
Someone fires a bazooka off.

And so I dream, and so I seem
To spy these visions through the steam.
Oh! Sweet fancies of the evening air!
I sigh and fall back on my chair!

Oh do you remember
The first you dismembered?
I do.
And the horrifying memories of that traumatic incident haunt me to this very day.

Sweet nymph of the waters,
Clearly-running waters
Daughter of the waters
Smiling on the shore,
Pure and demure nymph,
I yearn for you to say
Where you keep your hi-tech
Military weapon store.
Your rockets and your launchers,
Your landmines and grenades,
Your automatic weaponry,
And of course hand-guns,
Machetes swords and sabres,
Dynamite and bombs,
By the clearly flowing waters
Of the river as it runs?
Goddess of the rivers,
Ever running, ever laughing,
Lying like a dream
Upon its sandy bank,
I burn for you! I pine!
Say quick where we can arm
Before we all get blasted
By that fucking armoured tank!

Illumination 1
Such interplay of light and shade!
Paratroopers on a raid.

Illumination 2
A delicate secluded glade -
Then someone throws a hand-grenade.

Flowers are evil!
In the cafe
Music playing
And I hear
Fine blue petals,
Perfumed petals
Fall upon my ear.

Nectarine mist,
Purple odours,
Fragrant rain,
A bird sings
And I shudder
As in pain.
Don't worry,
It's just
A recurrence of post traumatic stress disorder yet again.


Cam Black said...


oh, oh, oh...


Ampersand Duck said...

So good my sides have split, and this wee reward for you fell out:

TimT said...

"Themes of this little known 19th-century French poet include guns, slaughter, blood, vengeance, paramilitary exercises, and the delicate transience and existential mystery of all of life."

I might also note that, for a 19th-century French poet, Artie Rambo sure does know a lot about warfare in the 1980s...

TimT said...

That's a fabulous link &Duck - I could be a while exploring that site!

Email: timhtrain - at -

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