War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

rest in peace comrade, poet-in-arms

I just heard that one of my comrades from the Scottish School of Poets (Edinburgh), the poet Donnie MacNeill, has died. Donnie has been a great supporter of me and my work and has followed this project closely. he wrote me faithfully, encouraged me during dark personal times, and sent me some of his own war words. a gentle man, a fierce patriot. ’n aire do litrichean mór my friend.

Helmand Elegy

Death flew out of
a sun-burned sky;
Too high, to set off IEDs
But low enough
To pluck the flowers of youth
Not long sprung from
Childhood’s bud.
Snatched where they stood
In stifling sand ,that once was
Clinging mud.

Death left a souvenir
For those who feared
That this would be
Their fate.
In cool clear
Air they will return
To those who wait;
Not in a bud
But in a box
With unfurled flag
Contoured with tender
Care along its length.

God give them strength
Who wait, anticipate
An empty life with nought
To fill the void but grief.
Death is never sought.
Death is a thief.

Donnie MacNeill

Written on the news that eight young soldiers were killed in a fight with the Taliban Helmand province in Afghanistan.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled rest in peace comrade, poet-in-arms. It was posted here on February 08, 2011.


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