Poetry by Robert Walton of King City, California The Society November 6, 2012 Poetry 1 Comment Dawn Drums They march again to war, Sniffling, shuffling, voices muffled, Through dawn’s uncertain door Youth and man, rich and poor, Through campfires’ smothered smokes They march again to war, From college, farm and store They carry loaded muskets Through dawn’s uncertain door Damp drums tapping, four by four, Meadow mists like ghosts ahead, They march again to war Black cannon mouths, fresh gore, Shattered limbs and death await Through dawn’s uncertain door Flags yet furled And bayonets sheathed, They march again to war Through dawn’s uncertain door Silent Drums The drums lie tilted, battered and still; Grass fires gutter where none are left to kill; Bitter smoke coils through leafless trees; A stunned horse quivers on bloody knees; A tin cup’s clank, a thump, a moan – Battle’s requiem in dissonant tones Drifts above those soon to be dead, Blue coated, gray, now innocent of dread. Bloodied fingers reach for a hand to hold And are touched instead by day’s last gold. A torn boy’s dying, upraised hand Marks Union’s price and freedom’s stand. Robert Walton’s short story “Dogwood Dream” won first place in New Millennium Writing’s 2011 short fiction contest and was subsequently published by “Steel Toe.” His novella “Vienna Station” won the Galaxy prize and was published as an e-book. It is available for Kindle on Amazon. Most recently, his short story “Like a thorny Child” won the Central Coast Writers spring writing contest. These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) One Response neal Whitman November 6, 2012 In 1888, after Dr. William Osler made a house call on Walt Whitman, he went to his Club and opened a volume of Leaves of Grass and closed it. “Whether the meat was too strong, or whether it was the style of cooking, ’twas not for my pampered palate, accustomed as I was to the likes of Shelley and Keats.” You see, he preferred what is served up here at the SCP and the likes of Robert Walton. In time, Osler broadened his ingestion. War does that. In 1917, his 21-year old son, Revere, was killed on the Somme. Late at night, this father reads Whitman’s Civil War poetry. The Good, Grey Poet nursed Union wounded in hospital tents and knew of suffering: I saw the corpses, myriads of them… but they suffer’d not… The living remain’d and suffer’d. Robert, your poems evoke in rhyme and meter, the world Walt Whitman reported in free verse. I stand at attention for Whitman, but also salute you for your pictorial poems that explode on the page. Reading your verse adds color to your strong strokes. Amicus poeticae, Neal Whitman Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.