Reheating a Cold War

Red geraniums rust in September rain
and sparrows splash in puddles again.
In summer’s hinterland, something is stirring
leaves already yellow, their weariness showing,
tattered and brittle, counting years with their falling.
But still trees find safety in numbers, flourishing
in ancient copses, forests and woods,
growing together for the common good
while men train weapons again at far-off places,
disregarding the anguish of unknown faces,
reawakening fears of a reheated Cold War,
reigniting childhood memories, deep scars
inflicted by the grey words that dripped
from serious monochrome television lips.

Kim M. Russell, 2nd February 2021

Berlin Black And White Cold War - Free photo on Pixabay

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics: War Poetry

Björn is our host for Poetics this Tuesday, which is all about war poetry.

Like Björn, I have no experience of war myself, and I want nothing to do with it. But I do appreciate poetry about war, especially by those who have direct experience of it and who do not glorify it or write in jingoistic terms. 

He has shared poems by Brian Turner, Tennyson, John McCrae, Paul Celan and Carilda Olivar Labra. Turner and Celan were new to me, however I am well-versed in war poetry, having taught it at high school.

I have reworked a poem from 2017, written in response to the words of Carilda Olivar Labra.

Stock image found on Pixabay.

36 thoughts on “Reheating a Cold War

  1. “But still trees find safety in numbers, flourishing in ancient copses, forests and woods, growing together for the common good,”.. this is so evocative, Kim! I sometimes shudder while thinking what people must have endured during the cold war!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It must have been terrifying growing up during the cold war. The last thing we want to do is heat it up again. I actually think we’ve done pretty well to not use nuclear weapons in conflict since the Second World War. Well written and well said.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mans’ inhumanity to Man
    Continually at war
    Sickens me to the core
    I was born in South London in 1951 and have vivid memories of the scars on the landscape, streets of bombed out houses we played in as kids, bombsites where we found shrapnel and the occasional spent bullet cases. Will we never learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well written Kim! I remember when Camelot died in Dallas. I was 16 years old and felt the chill that fell upon the hopeful, but unfortunately naive Pollyanna American attitude prevalent in the post WWll days of early to mid 1950’s. The ridiculous crouching under our school desks later in the 50’s to “protect” ourselves in the event of an atomic attack. I was certain the 1961 Bay Of Pigs confrontation might actually see payloads dropping on American soil. That attack on America didn’t come until 9/11/01. Now we have the ongoing terrorism threat, foreign and domestic. Human beings are a greedy, arrogant, violent species — who are also capable of greatness. This emotional schizophrenia will eventually bring us to extinction. But hey, let’s keep dancing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The last two lines are wonderful. I can definitely relate to this. I remember the anxiety that I felt as a child that I’d be separated from my parents if there was an attack. And the graphics of “the iron curtain” coming down terrified me.

    Liked by 1 person

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