Bio Note: I have been blessed to have never encountered war in person. My experience with it has been filtered through art and media. Yet it overwhelms me to think about it. There have been many sad poems come to light this month, dealing with my dear friend whose mind is dying out with dementia. We need to look for beauty everywhere in these sad times and revel in even the smallest bits of it.
A picture of war for all ages, my first experience of war. When I first saw this master work it puzzled me—dissonant shapes, distortions, hurt pouring from every inch of canvas—then, as a teen, I had never seen a war except as grainy pictures in books or documentaries, or in Hollywood triumphs. My Dad had been a soldier but he would not talk about it. The noise of war was not for conversation. Now war assaults with sounds Of soldiers, bombs, dying civilians, noise and blood we could not see before, not even Guernica’s symbols plumb the depths of its horror. Yet, I’ve never seen or heard or felt a better explanation. If only we could make it stop, throw a sheet over Guernica, would it stop all wars?
Fire Dying Out
My friend’s inner fire is almost gone. “At least,” we who love her say, “At least she does not know the world around her is at war.” She can no longer make sense Of images on television or Read a book or listen to a Strange, disembodied voice on radio. I call, often, knowing that soon she will no longer know my voice, hoping some word of affection will keep alive the embers of her mind just a little longer. I will call even after the spark of recognition’s left her—after all even ashes warm to love.
©2022 Joan Leotta
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