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by Zettel 

Posted: 12 August 2004
Word Count: 173

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As seeds of death are sown
the roots of hate are grown
and mothers cry
as children die
for a cause they've never known

The drops of bloody rain
stain the soil with pain
and men of pride
try to hide
their everlasting shame

Heartbreak cries of shattered lives
go unrecognised
as once again
the sins of men
create unseeing eyes

We have no choice our leaders say
someone has to pay.
If courage cools
and weakness rules
we lose the American way

But you cannot shoot a dream
or bomb a people free
ideas will abide
resist the killing tide
why don't they ever see

And so the children weep
and cry themselves to sleep
but we shut our eyes
and criticise
the company they keep

As more seeds germinate in hate
broken limbs and hearts create
a spirit of defiance
in unholy alliance
against the super state.

"Suffer little children"
shames the hearts of men
for when innocence appears
we wring out bitter tears
and crucify Him once again.


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Comments by other Members

roovacrag at 06:46 on 14 August 2004  Report this post
Zettal a strong piece. We seem to be on the same wavelength.
Good choice of words and well written.
xx Alice

The Walrus at 11:11 on 14 August 2004  Report this post
Shame on us, our civilisation. Your well-crafted words speak very loudly Zettel. Heartbreaking. Well said.

The Walrus

Zettel at 18:02 on 14 August 2004  Report this post
Thanks Christina and Alice.

Content is a bit heavy I guess but this was one of those pieces where as I was writing it, I found the dominant rhyming scheme almost leading it towards being a song. But I find that's tricky as the distinction between a poem and a song still troubles me (if anyone does both and feels they have got the distinction clear i'd appreciate their help).
The main merit I guess of a song is that for protest content like this, a song might have more potential impact.
Thanks again


fireweed at 19:04 on 15 August 2004  Report this post
Zettel, this is a strong piece. Strangely, before reading the comments, as I was reading the poem I thought it had something song-like about it. Bob Dylan came to my mind. I'm not sure how to distinguish between a song and a poem. Some lyrical poems are songs without music. But just adding music to words doesn't necessarily make a song.

Yours is a song worth singing.


Zettel at 22:39 on 15 August 2004  Report this post
Thanks Fireweed

Dylan would be very good company

Just gotta learn an instrument I guess.


olebut at 14:32 on 16 August 2004  Report this post
Zettle I have come on this rather late and almost everything that could be said has a fine piece

As usual I don't like the capital letters beginning each line I really do think it distracts from the flow and strength of the images and message also perhaps you should consider in verse 3 line 2 removing the word 'go' and in verse 4 remove 'and in line 3 ( line 4 is a little ugly but can't think how you can chnage it and keep in American way although you could then chnage the first word of the line to 'and' which I think scans a little better. Also in verse 7 try removing the first word 'so'

a super piece though fine sentiments strongly said

take care


Zettel at 23:08 on 16 August 2004  Report this post
David - thanks for the comments

Agree on the caps - just need one for sense mid-verse 4.

Can't make the rhythm or sense work as well for me with your suggested excisions, but you made me re-look at V4 and the logic I think has 'courage cools' as prior to 'weakness rules', so have reversed them.

Agree about the clunkiness of the last line - trouble is "the American Way" is inherently clunky I think but the expression is central to the theme.

'So' is a nothing word you'd try to avoid in a poem (less so in a song as it has a stretchable vowel sound). 'as' is only a slight imporovement but it works at least as well. (Interesting that 'as' would not work as well in a song).

Improved by your comments I think - thanks.


engldolph at 19:39 on 18 August 2004  Report this post

Yes, some strong thoughts in a piece that flows almost like a song (half 60s protest feel, half political rap)..

Favorite line

someone has to pay.
If courage cools
and weakness rules
we lose the American way

Not as sure about stanzas 6/8.
And the title "Landmines" ...the poem to me read more about current events..I associate landmines with Bosnia/Africa


Zettel at 23:29 on 19 August 2004  Report this post
Thanks Mike

It was half a song in my mind



Nell at 19:34 on 21 August 2004  Report this post
Hi Zettel,

As others have said a very powerful poem. The only hesitation I had was on the last line of the fifth stanza. I'm not sure why, it may be the passive voice, unless it's that 'shaming' is a softer word among the stronger ones. See what you think - it may just be me. Re. the difference between a song and a poem, I asked this question on the Poetry Seminar Forum recently after hearing Suzanne Vega's Small Blue Thing read as a poem on the radio. It was surreal and stunning. Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon, Carly Simon et al - IMO poets every one!


Zettel at 09:59 on 25 August 2004  Report this post
Thanks Nell

Not sure the amendment is ideal but I think it perhaps is more in the spirit of the stanza than the shaming line.



Nell at 11:01 on 25 August 2004  Report this post
Zettel, I think it works better now - maybe as you say not ideal but at least unnoticable.


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