We trooped into countryside,
walking behind tanks like children
trailing parents to a scene of petty
wrong. I was more exhausted
than I can say; I was tired of shots
and the substitute of guns for
the soundings of the sky and handsome
forks of gold like those back home
where storms are welcome to the eye.
This was a naked place, powdered
everywhere with dust and ash. It lay
on trees and covered men I shot
like birds and who dropped a little
distance away. At home,
the cathedral of the night
catches in its hands
our talk sometimes and you hear
the flight of the unseen
to firesides they crave.
— Charles Bane, Jr.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month peace rang out across Europe as the Great War ended in 1918. Today, we remember Veterans Day and the men and women who pay the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our continued liberties and freedoms with a poem by Charles Bane Jr.
We Trooped into the Countryside marks the sixth installment in the serialization of Charles' 2011 volume of poetry The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor). Join us on this year-long journey as we share and explore Charles' passion — his poetry — with you, our readers, on alternate Tuesdays.
Charles is also the author of Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2014). His work has been described in the Huffington Post as "not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them." He created the Meaning of Poetry series for The Gutenberg Project and is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida. A new collection of poetry, The Ends Of The Earth is currently taking shape.
We thank Charles for his continuing contributions.