Statues

A Villanelle

Two Buddhas now a lost reality,
A crowd chants loudly near a pile of stone;
Across the South you won’t find General Lee.

The temples fell despite UNESCO’s plea
And ISIS’ pledge to leave the past alone;
Two Buddhas now a lost reality.

For Durham’s statue lax authority
Sidelined police and set official tone;
Across the South you won’t find General Lee.

Through shades of Mosul’s ravaged library
Scholars wail as deserts’ dry winds moan –
Two Buddhas now a lost reality.

Mt. Rushmore has two heads from history
Which some want smashed and legacies unknown;
Across the South you won’t find General Lee.

What icons of the past can all agree
Remind of our mistakes or how we’ve grown?
Two Buddhas now a lost reality;
Across the South you won’t find General Lee.

 

Field of Wheat

Dark rows of soil lay waiting for new life;
Spring weather coaxes tiny stems to rise.
Once frozen, fallow fields fill quickly, rife

With green. Enamored field mice fraternize
In burrows underneath the frost while deer
Intently wait as tender sprouts gain size.

Sun rises, sets; stalks slowly lengthen, spear
Into blue sky. Migrating birds return,
Pale mice are born and learn that they must fear

The owls at night; fawns bedded down in fern
Conceal themselves with camouflage from packs
Of wolves. Days lengthen, wheat begins to burn

From green to gold; dry ground is scored with cracks.
Wind rustles heads of grain, small insects creep
On brittle stems, worn butterflies relax.

Scythe’s steady rhythm lulls as sharp blades reap,
Exposing earth to winter’s reign; seeds sleep.

 

Charles Bauer resides in Apex, NC and is a salesman for a commercial carpet manufacturer. 

 

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24 Responses

  1. J. Simon Harris

    The first poem is a thought provoking, well done villanelle. I like that you mention so many disparate cases of fallen monuments, some historical and some hypothetical. The poem casts shades of gray on an issue which many people see as black and white.

    The second poem is a great example of terza rima. I really love your handling of the meter, and your enjambment works well too. Very well done!

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Apologies for the delay in replying Mr. Harris; thank you for your kind words! “Statues” was intended to point out just the “shades of gray” that you mentioned.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  2. Amy Foreman

    I, too, really liked the enjambment on the second poem, as well as the alliteration, which makes it a pleasure to read aloud: ” frozen, fallow fields fill quickly, rife . . . Sun rises, sets; stalks slowly lengthen, spear . . . green to gold; dry ground . . .” Very nicely crafted, Mr. Bauer!

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Please accept my apologies for the long delay in replying Ms. Foreman. Thank you very much for reading my poem and your gracious post!

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  3. Lenore

    I enjoyed reading these and appreciate the depth and meaningful messages in them.

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you! Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  4. David Hollywood

    ‘Statues’ echoes’ a sensitive subject, and which singularly reminded me of a destruction that was very upsetting at the time, and continues to bite when repeated through reminders of it, and this is especially so when considering those statues were impressively tangible reflections of an age I had nothing to do with or any connection to, but which through their representations managed and presented values and/or beliefs and practices on behalf of others who wanted to demonstrate how fifteen hundred years ago they were as much a part of religious, artistic and historical portrayal and committed sincerity as anything else. However, and much to my chagrin I am too charged with contemporary opinion to wish to comment upon the Durham statue, or as may be compared; the Victoria and Nelson’s monuments in my own Ireland, so please allow me the margin of difference. However, I thank you for the thoughtful provocations of the poem.
    As for ‘Field of Wheat’ I thought the sentiment both sensitive and tender and again thank you for it.

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you for your thoughts Mr. Hollywood; your’s is about as perfect a reaction as I could ask for to my poem (I hope that comes across as a positive and NOT a negative comment). Additionally your request to, “…allow me the margin of difference” was quite simply elegant!

      Please forgive me for the extreme delay in replying.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  5. David Paul Behrens

    We should not destroy the statues of General Lee, or any other confederate statues, anywhere in America. They should all be placed in an American Racism Museum.

    Reply
  6. Wendy Bourke

    I enjoyed both of these well-constructed, thought-provoking pieces. Villanelles are my favorite form – and though the repetition can be very challenging, ‘Statues’ comes together brilliantly, and to great effect. A pleasure to read.

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you very much Ms. Bourke! Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your post.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you Mr. MacKenzie; I enjoy your work very much! My apologies for taking so long to respond to your post.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  7. Dave Whippman

    “Statues” is so topical; there is this sinister desire now to rewrite history. IS does it crudely; the PC brigade in the west is perhaps more subtle, but just as deadly. We need to admit that not everyone who achieved anything in history was someone we would agree with. Otherwise, where does this revision end? Your poem said it well.

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      My apologies for taking so long to respond to your post Mr. Whippman. Thank you for your observations! How do we study history if we destroy it?

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  8. Cardiwel Ebuse

    Mr. Bauer’s first poem is certainly topical, as we have seen here before @ SCP, as, for example, in Joshua Phillip’s hopeful, heartfelt, anapestic-tetrametre sonnet “On the Tearing Down of Confederate General Statues”. But those are not the only things being destroyed, as the following demonstrates:

    Destruction of Long Island Statues: March 2018

    A statue of the Virgin Mary was beheaded at
    the Church of Saint Gerard Majella in Port Jefferson.
    A vandal also broke a hand, who knows the reason why;
    but hatred roams across the land beneath the open sky.
    The maker of the statues said that he would freely give
    another to the congregation; love, it seems, still lives.
    But earlier, a week before, some vandals sacrificed
    another statue, this one of a life-size Jesus Christ,
    outside the shrine, Our Lady of the Island, Manorville.
    It seems intolerance and hate will never have their fill.

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you Mr. Ebuse! Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply to your kindness.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
  9. Curdise Belawe

    Mr. Bauer and Mr. Ebuse are correct. In 2013, Sunni jihadists beheaded a statue of Abassid-era poet and philosopher Abu al-Alaa al-Maari. In 2015, they destroyed a sculpture of Ibrahim Hanano in Idlib. The destruction, three days ago, by Turkish forces and their jihadist proxies, was the statue, in the center of Afrin, of Kawa—the legendary blacksmith of Kurdish mythology whose fire illuminates the Kurdish struggle against the totalitarian regimes of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

    Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply to your post Mr. Belawe. Thank you for pointing out these additional examples.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply
    • Charlie Bauer

      Thank you for your gracious words Mr. Yankevich. Please accept my apologies for taking so long to reply to your kindness.

      Best wishes,

      Charlie

      Reply

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