On parental warfare …

Words of one syllable

shot from their tongues

in sharp bursts .. like gunfire;

wounding the non-combatant

too close to the trajectory

caught in the cross-hairs

of a marital war …

ritual speeches spat ammunition;

spent cases of love

littered the floor..

no surrender;

no truce;

retreat and re-arm.

Hush, child,

go back to sleep.

Wave your white flag in your dreams.

No longer weep;

it is not as it seems.

It doesn’t concern you;

we meant you no harm … .

About atomsofstars

Reticent .. but I hope my poetry speaks for me .. Favourite quotation .. ' Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.' Ludwig Wittgenstein
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6 Responses to On parental warfare …

  1. JM says:

    Marya, you have written here about things that I never dared to touch. And you have done it so well, as usual.

  2. atomsofstars says:

    Hello, Jamie ….

    Commiserations : all childhood experiences live on inside us, both positive and negative, the good and the bad, don’t they ?

    I overruled my inner censor to publish these lines … rather filled with trepidation but communication’s the thing (as I’m fond of saying) .. so I’m pleased now that I did.x

    Incidentally … I have discovered that the noun, trepidation, is also an old astronomical term ( used by Milton) meaning a libration of the celestial sphere assumed to explain a supposed oscillation of the ecliptic …
    I’m reading Paradise Lost at the moment 🙂

  3. Shermeen says:

    Marya, just when I thought I understood some of the depths of your beautiful imagination and your exquisite skill in articulating apparently indefinable thoughts, you astound me with this piece. Yes, astound. Not only are you highly creative you are also super intelligent. I do not know how you do it, as I once said before, it is all from above 🙂

  4. atomsofstars says:

    I really don’t know what to say, Shermeen, except thank you …. I’m at a loss to find any words in answer to your comment ..

    I do always remember these words from a prayer card which I was given on my last day at the convent High School where I was educated .. ‘ Take my intellect and use every power as Thou shalt choose’ ..
    The prayer and these words in particular made a deep impression upon me.

  5. JW says:

    Hello Marya,

    This is a very powerful poem. You definitely went out on a limb publishing this. I have been lucky enough to have been brought up by two loving parents, though, through friends and family I know the heartache that children experience during bad times. Your words capture this feeling. Another great piece of work.

    Paradise Lost is a bit too heavy for me, the latest Dean Koontz supernatural thriller is what I’m currently immersing in; hope I don’t drown. 🙂

    As an aside, Milton is the name of a ferocious housing scheme in Glasgow. So tough it isn’t called Milton, it’s called “The Milton”. This is true.

    Moloch’s Horns! Disappearing over the horizon in your photo. That’s not a drunken Yeti driving a Land Rover and swerving all over the place, is it?

  6. atomsofstars says:

    Hello JW .. Lovely to see you this morning 🙂 I hope you and your family are all well.

    Thank you very much for your thoughts on these lines. Yes, it did feel a bit hazardous posting them here although I did post them on MyT a few years ago.
    I was concerned that for some readers they might have found them upsetting .. perhaps reviving memories which had lain dormant.

    re Paradise Lost ; I’m fortunate in having the second edition of the brilliant book, ‘Milton Paradise Lost’, edited by Alastair Fowler. It is annotated on each page with such dazzling scholarship that each line holds an incomparable richness to be discovered.

    I also have the beautiful edition, illustrated by Gustave Doré and produced by Arcturus Publishing Ltd. which was a wonderful gift from a friend .. riches beyond compare.

    Now, supernatural thrillers would give me nightmares … I might have journeyed to the Inferno with Virgil, Dante and Milton but I do have the reassurance of Paradise Regained 🙂

    I wondered if any other housing schemes in Glasgow were aspirationally titled …

    Moloch’s Horns! What an imagination you have JW !… How terrifying ! .. as Milton wrote ..

    ‘First Moloch, horrid king besmeared with blood
    Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears
    Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud
    Their children’s cries unheard, that put through fire
    To his grim Idol’ ..

    ( Interesting, I think, that the word, ‘horrid’, has less force in current English usage .. I don’t think it conjures up horror in the modern mind. )

    A drunken yeti! Yes, that would explain those haphazard tracks, Sherlock .. 🙂

    Have a great weekend .. and thank you again.

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