Author Topic: My Sister (formerly Camp Pendleton with 3rd revision)  (Read 2055 times)

Offline indar

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My Sister (formerly Camp Pendleton with 3rd revision)
« on: February 10, 2012, 12:47:49 PM »
My Sister (revision3)

Heavy mortar thumps in the dark,
bumps at my door
rattles the glass in my windows.

They are practicing war
at the base again.

Somewhere a world away
there is a woman
lying under the thin protection
of her bedclothes at night:
she listens to these sounds

and knows they are from
the village just to the north
where yesterday
she rode her donkey cart
to visit her sister and children.
She thinks she will not live
to know their fate
the thuds retrace her way home.

My heart rattles in its rib-cage.




My Sister (revision 2)

Heavy mortar fire thumps concussions
in the dark, seemingly closer,
it bumps at my door,
rattles the glass in my windows,
rattles my heart in my ribcage.

They are practicing war
at the base again.

I imagine somewhere
there is a woman
like me, lying under the thin protection
of her bedclothes at night:
she listens
to these same sounds

and knows they are from
the village just to the north
where only a few days ago
she went by donkey cart
to visit her sister and her husband
and their seven children.

She thinks she will not live
to know their fate.

**************************

Camp Pendleton (revision)

They are practicing war
at the base near where I live.
Heavy mortar fire
thumps concussions,
bumps at my door,
rattles the glass in my windows,
rattles my heart in my ribcage.

Somewhere there is a woman
like me, lying under the thin protection
of her bedclothes at night:
she listens
to these same sounds

and knows they are from
the village just to the north
where only a few days ago
she went by donkey cart
to visit her sister and her husband
and their seven children.


********************************


Camp Pendleton

They are practicing war
at Pendleton again.
Heavy mortar fire
thumps concussions,
bumps at my door,
rattles the glass in my windows,

rattles my heart in my ribcage
at night

as if it were a village
just north of here
where only a few days ago
I went by donkey cart
to visit my sister and her husband
and their seven children.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Base_Camp_Pendleton
Note: the camp is bordered on the south by Oceanside which is where I live.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 12:48:19 PM by indar »

Offline duck

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 03:50:30 PM »
Hi Indar,
I have the feeling I am missing something here. The description does not move me much - perhaps the links of explosion, village and children is just too tenuous. Not sure what I am supposed to feel.
Grammatically I am sure that  it should read "As if it were the village" rather than it is the village.
Could be interesting.
Duck

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 06:39:34 PM »
Hi indar, I lived on a RAF base, frequently had tacevals with sirens etc, sometime a full exercise that lasted three days. We were used to it . . . never thought about how it might affect the locals before.

Rather than practising war, maybe playing war games and then you could use the sounds as something 'childish' or 'ridiculous' when experienced at your end ???
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Offline drab

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 08:07:57 PM »
 :)
To live, with gentle but cunning deceit, and accept the consequences, is the destiny of every man.

Offline SparkyDashforth

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 09:19:01 PM »
I have (admittedly) a prejudice against this kind of poem.
It comes across as emotionally anti-military.
If that was your intention Indar then you succeeded, at least
you kept the poem human and intimate and not too grandiose.

On one level I empathize but the poem does not bring any other
point of view into play leaving the reader to assume that it
lacks scope.

I am proud to live near Wright-Patterson airfield base.
They are part of our community, and are appreciated
as guardians of our freedom. Of course the fly-boys
are not lobbing mortars over my back yard, so as I say
I empathize, but maybe you should have said more.

Whatever ones political bent regarding war and practicing war
 I do think one sided poetry is never that satisfying.

Having said that. its a well written work. I agree with duck re: grammar.
It works on its own level, and is imaginative.

best

sparky



« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 09:21:15 PM by SparkyDashforth »

Offline indar

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 10:10:19 PM »
Hi All,

My youngest daughter was army intelligence attached to the 82nd Airborne (Red Berets). She was trained at the Defense Language Institute at Monteray and is fluent in Russian. Her husband is a Lieutenant Colonel with the air force. My other son-in-law was a sharpshooter with the army for 20 years. I am not anti-military. Still I can't help but think what it might be like to live in a country where its for real---those fearsome sounds in the night---and what it would be like to hear them in the next village. Empathy with people caught in war does not mean I am critical of the military out of hand. Actually Sparky we speak of over-writing on these boards---maybe you were over-reading here ;)

PS I don't have a sister----wish I did.

Offline SparkyDashforth

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 10:18:35 PM »
I hear you Indar, sorry if I misinterpreted your intent.
Yes I agree, wars are always overseas for America.
As a Brit and European, we older ones tend to have a different
take on the terrible potential nearness of war at times.

Offline indar

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 10:30:03 PM »
 :) :) :)

Offline Mark H

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 03:31:51 AM »
Ditto Duck.

M
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Offline indar

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 04:06:51 AM »
Quote
Ditto Duck.
Hi Mark,
Well they say if two people say you have a tail you'd better turn around and look. I changed the grammar as per Duck's suggestion but I don't understand his comment that the links between elements in the poem are too tenuous and its unclear how the reader should feel. If the sounds of mortars causes the N to think of how it might feel to hear them in the case of actual war can't I assume the reader will wonder as well? Should I attempt to describe the sounds? It would seem to be going overboard to bring in some state of terror in this circumstance. ???

Offline Mark H

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 04:26:45 AM »
I've got to go and freeze my nads off on a Derbyshire hillside now, but I'll try to get back later with something more.  :)
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Offline duck

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2012, 04:35:29 AM »
Hi Indar,
Just to clarify: since they rattle your being now, what difference would it make it you were in the village? Secondly, is this village in California? If yes, why travel by donkey? If it is not, where is it? The bumps and rattles are sensory words but not very emotive. I used to get that when Concorde flew over.
Interesting idea and premise but it does not make me feel much either about your position on the matter or to develop any strong feelings of my own. In other words, tenuous in that I understand all the elements of the poem but they don't add to a powerful whole.
greetings Duck

Offline indar

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 04:38:48 AM »
and I'll bet you thought you liked the great outdoors. I await your comments :)

Offline indar

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2012, 05:03:15 AM »
Quote
Just to clarify: since they rattle your being now, what difference would it make it you were in the village? Secondly, is this village in California? If yes, why travel by donkey? If it is not, where is it?

Hey Duck
I have only experienced war through TV and Life magazine pictures. The first time I heard actual artillary when I moved here about 9 years ago I thought somewhere there are people who are experiencing this as a real threat (and it does get loud and percussive here). I don't have a particular area in mind but the people riding in donkey carts to visit family probably are more interested in growing crops and kids than in understanding the forces behind the wars. I don't think its wrong or unpatriotic or overly sentimental to be aware of those people. But I guess the problem with what i have written here is I am not making my point---which puzzles me...
Thanks for revisiting and clarifying your earlier comment

Offline creekmile

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Re: Camp Pendleton
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2012, 07:56:39 AM »
Lived close enough to a training area that the shelling and gunfire made me feel I was home.
My basement cracked, things always popped of shelves.
Thought a truck ran into the house once, but no it was just concusion from a bomb
You could definitely imagine that it's real war going on .
To me it's a great concept you have going and I get it.