Marc Latham’s new Folding Mirror poem started off less than an hour ago with the idea of creating a war poem, as the UK’s remembrance day takes place this week. Marc thinks the time taken to create the poem is quite impressive, but maybe you’ll think it shows in a poor poem!? Unlike some of the great twentieth-century war poets, Marc can’t claim to have experienced the trials and tribulations of war, and wrote the poem from media representations.
The first line of the poem kind of had Bob Dylan’s first line of The Times they are a-Changin’ going through Marc’s mind, which was ‘Gather round people…’ Then ‘shell-like’ emerged between Marc’s ears, and he decided to fill the top half of the poem with double-meaning references to some of the bombs and their materials that soldiers have faced in the last few centuries, with Britain’s two twentieth-century ‘world wars‘ the most redolent; this ends with France’s primary river. France was central to both ‘world-wars’ in Europe.
For your increased enjoyment of the poem, here are some explanations of the slang words found in the first half of the poem:
shell-like is slang for ear.
shrapnel is slang for small valued money: such as pennies, cents and centimes.
bomb is slang for do badly.
powder is slang for drugs such as cocaine.
The second half of the poem focuses on the after-effects of war experiences that affect many combatants through post-traumatic stress disorder. Here’s the poem:
Bombs Away May, Return Another Day
cluster around people
words in your shell-like
powder to brain
paid with shrapnel
you’re gonna bomb
fragmentation in Seine
mortar rains, immortal remains
shrill crater creator
lands in cranium
disorder neurons’ new
rule of thumb
the sound of air-mines
blows sound mind
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk).