War Eagle Mill

“You dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
of which your soul was constituted;
They flickered against the ceiling.”
~T.S. Eliot, “Preludes”

War Eagle Mill

The road rises against Ozark hills,
past the War Eagle mill to the caverns.
Farm houses rise over creek beds littered
with cold cellars, they which stand waist high,
sandstone reaching from the dugout earth.
Cedar shakes cover, maybe, mason jars of
canned jellies, jams, potted meats.
Maybe, though, they are empty,
relics of other days.

“Forces use chemical weapons against
opposition forces,” the radio breaks.
It is an omen of changing winds, the
rising tides that lift all ships, push
toward the jutting hawksbill crag.
Amber says, “I don’t want my boys
warring,” as if conversing with the fates,
or God. The fates are silent, empty too.
The valley, it is late coming green.

Where once there was fellowship,
now there are the trembling portents.
Where once there was morning beauty, new,
now there are sordid images, flickering by candle.
Where once there were child’s games, cowboys
versus Nazis, now there are only captors.
The waterwheel turns still, water pushing,
pushing, always pushing. To everything there
is a season; to everything a turn.



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Cover photo by Muffet via Creative Commons.

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  • It is really strange to think about the old buildings ruined there, how children used to play before the Civil War. But then again, some of those buildings hosted slaves. All I can think is that if we must go to war, let it be somehow that slaves are set free.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely beautiful and touching. You have a way with words that brings home how I feel in a way that makes me want to cry (in a good, releasing kind of way!)

    • Seth

      Thank you for your kind words.

  • tonia

    I’ve long thought that only mothers should make decisions about when nations go to war. Imagine the creativity and diplomacy that would emerge.

    Anytime I meet poetry, I am better for it. Thank you for giving the words.

    • sethhaines

      The shift in geopolitics would be something else, wouldn’t it? At this point, after being at war for over 10 years, I’d go for that. How long can we keep doing this?

      Thanks for the words, Tonia. I appreciate you stopping by.