Guest Barista Eric Syrdal: Triumph…

Jerusalem, Babylon, Damascus
another parade
passing under the city gate arch
the sun blotted out by ancient stones
here long before our sandaled feet
trod the dust of a thousand battles
into the air
phalanx shields and glittering spear tips
drums and raucous horns
welcome the conquerors
to this place of trophies
fine fabrics and spiced meats
will be the rewards of the day
but I’ve not his name
and men will liken themselves to him
long after the greek temples have fallen
ambition lies at the feet of a broken empire
Macedonia has reached her long arms
to the edge of civilization
and draws back into her bosom
the fruits of her brutality
and here I remain
my body still tired of the saddle
how many times will I ride through
a rainstorm of rose petals?
how many laurels shall be placed upon my head?
how many times shall I be offered
all that glory demands?
yet all I wish for
is to see the way the oil lamp
bends the shadows around a woman’s face
like adoring lovers
they kiss her beautiful eyes
I want to die in her embrace
no soldier’s death for me
my sword will not be my end

Eric Syrdal is an independent poet/author. He’s an avid gamer and Sci-Fi enthusiast. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy literature and spends a great deal of his writing time focused in those genres. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives with wife and two children.  You can read more Eric’s writing at My Sword and Shield….

7 thoughts on “Guest Barista Eric Syrdal: Triumph…

  1. Thanks for sharing Eric’s poetry. I’m a huge fan! I love the history behind this and the theme that man has never learned not to warl even in the present age, despite all the long history of wars. And in Macedonia and the holy lands, that “ambition” for power and land has only resulted in death, destruction, pain etc . here & in other Wars throughout time. War except in self-defense of your own people or an allies, is never just.

    I love the last few lines: “Yet all I wish for / is to see the way the oil lamp / bends the shadows around the woman’s face . . . I want to die in her embrace/ no soldiers death for me . . .” It very much humanizes war that this man this soldier wanted a regular life, that it his life is at stake and his mental/ physical health if he survives. He and other soldiers who he represents, are the greatest sacrifices those with “ambition” and power forget. He wants his sweetheart or perhaps even a motherly figure to rest in her arms and find comfort, rest, security in his last breaths. Not an agonizing death by “sword.”

    This much relates to Trump’s current thoughts in Jerusalem and what his UN rep said yesterday to the assembly about establishing an American presence in Jerusalem. I guess Trump forgot about the English ‘Holy Wars’ and many other Wars since the Babylonians first took over Jerusalem thousands of years ago. “Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely” I always hope Trump’s power is only 3 1/2 more years and not an additional 4 added to that.

    Thank you for sharing this relevant and beautiful piece Eric and Christine.

    Liked by 2 people

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