Submitted by Eric Anderson in the 18+ category
The coal plumes into darkening air
clouds black with their sadness
these dirty days, these dirty ways,
reaching for the shore barren of gladness.
Limping as it were, barely triumphant,
more mortally a survivor than anything else
battered and bruised, dented and abused,
no longer a bringer of military wealth.
All but she, as gentile as she now seems,
took their leave of surface dwelling
into the depths went, found tragic descent,
nothing left but the ocean’s swelling.
For this lone voyager of battle
what war does to a nation’s soul
the sunken lives, the widowed wives,
swallowed all in one watery hole.
Could a grave be more silent
than the abyss of the North Atlantic?
Frothy headstones, unwritten eulogy tomes,
the purge by torpedo systematic.
Take heart Britain’s shores
and grieve slowly Canada’s tides
they gave their life, to minimize our strife,
and to stand as memorials at our side.
So she docks, this fighting ship,
stalwart and ready to take her rest
crew, sullen, worn, remain not long forlorn,
to you to carry the mantle of England’s best.
Into your graces the flag of freedom flies
war is never a compassionate enterprise
its rewards subtle, for its claims no rebuttal,
and all are unsure of the final prize.
Ripple the waters steel hull
guide the way brave captain
sailors receive our blessing, our gratitude confessing,
this journey we will soon ask of you again.
You do not start these endless conflicts
but the struggle ensues still
ripping at our beings, increasing our grievings,
our eyes with tears so often fill.
We can hear, faintly over the gloom,
the wiry call of joyful success
tinny behind the drone of war, battles and lore,
courage to simply each morning dress.
O’er the seagulls and turns bravely fly
calling their echoing sentiments to the chaos below
we are winged above the fray, our imagination’s say,
until peace for all shall everywhere glow.