Paul Elisha: Where Have All the Old Soldier Gone?

Wordsworth defined poetry as – “The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings…”  There are times when we poets have no other recourse.

(Drums and Echoes Redux, May 31- 2012)
By Paul Elisha

Have you noticed, the swagger goes first?
A feeling, that despite all the other
Endless vestments of equivalence
Yours were somehow different, is by some
Inscrutable mystique now retrospect.

Decked out in multi-colored mufti,
A glow, persistent and encompassing
Attests you're in step with the faceless horde;
An accord you so often proclaimed
You'd sought. Shapes of battles you fought
Recede in amorphous sizes. The peace you prized
Assumes the same spurious form as when
Pols and pundits redefine a menace
That concession connotes impersonal; to be
Glibly gulped with the morning's tea and toast.

At most, one remembers to fly The Flag
On days marked by Special Sales
And old war-movie re-runs.
Now, coerced by impotence, we cling
To porches, cherish sunsets and
Display airs from rocking chairs, assess
Pain these purchases have cost, still
Uncertain, what was won or lost.