a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, October 6, 2014

Look Away

The dreams batter me
unclear
just on the edge of memory
they remain unknown
yet their strength
their frequency push me
push me closer
to the edge of insanity
"Look away, Look away..."

I wake singing
with a fervor
i cannot touch
the dream
that causes
my sleeping self
to sing
"Look away, look away..."

Smelling smoke I wake
does my soul
visit another time
have I created
too long
blurring the line
between reality and sanity
"Look away, look away..."

I've read
you can
control your dreams
so each night i try
for clarity
to find an answer
i have to know
"Look away, look away..."

The battle field lays
smoke covered wet with blood
flag staff firmly in hand
our ragged regiment charges
a musket ball
rips through me
must display the colors
"Look away, look away..."

The dream is real
another man
picks up the flag
the standard flies again
i fall
to the Rebel yell and
wake singing
"Look away, look away, look away, Dixie land."

Note:  The average life of a standard or flag bearer in battle was two to three minutes. Six to nine men were assigned to protect and fly the standard as a rallying point in battle.  It was a position of honor. It was considered an act of bravery to capture the standard of an enemy.

Posted for
Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Copyright Gail Williams October 2014

18 comments:

Sandra said...

this one is awesome.. fantastic in fact...

Buttons said...

Wow powerful I never knew that fact about the flag bearer. So sad. LOVE your words honouring them. Hug B

Saucy Kodz said...

The Flag Bearer was surely a position of honour and I never knew the fact about so many being assigned to protect and fly the Flag let alone capture the standard of an enemy. "I felt your poem". Best to your family n hugz to M :)

Linda Kay said...

Oh, my...why would anyone take on that responsibility? I guess it is that surge of patriotism for the battle. Such a sad story, and a very sad hat.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Three minutes is not a lot of time. I've heard the person beating the drum didn't live long either.

TexWisGirl said...

my goodness. bravery, certainly.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Oh wow, this is a cool poem. This is my favorite stanza??? and I don't even know why:

I wake singing
with a fervor
i cannot touch
the dream
that causes
my sleeping self
to sing
"Look away, look away..."

Country Gal said...

Never knew this . Wonderfully written . Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

Linda Wildenstein said...

oh my goodness....this is so powerful. I love how your mind works and how you educate me with your thoughts. xoxo

Laura said...

such powerful writing!

Sandy said...

What a fabulous poem...very powerful.

Farm Girl said...

Now I am going to be humming Dixie the rest of the evening.
I didn't know that about the flag bearer.

georgeplaceblog said...

Breaks a mother's heart to think of all the fallen... and so often for what?

Magaly Guerrero said...

Such haunting refrain...

Some who haven't been there, who might not understand that a symbol can create, brake, and rebuild nations and relationships, might think that dying for a flag is a silly thing.

This poem does such a great just about speaking of the power of symbol, of the honor of the women and men who will fight even on behalf of some who might never understand.

"Look away, look away..." may the blood run little, and the colors fly high.

Sumana Roy said...

a great tribute Gail...

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Not a great career move, it seems.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I've had several 'look away' dreams myself, so I can relate.

Susan Anderson said...

Great poem made even more powerful by the repetition of that refrain.

Really liked this one!

=)

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