Brave Soldiers We

after “The Things We Dare Not Tell” by Henry Lawson

We muster in the heat somewhere,
We sign our oaths, and then we swear,
Brave soldiers we, are doing well,
Yet, there are things we must not tell.

Our orders will ignite our woes,
Command is mute on where we go,
Brave soldiers we, are doing well
Our true mission, we will not know.

Nightmares seek those who sleep,
We dare not dream, lest we weep.
Brave soldiers we think all is well.
Caustic doubts commence to swell.

Our bugles trumpet from the east,
Remaining ranks beat slow retreat,
We may be doomed, still compelled,
Brave soldiers we, we do not tell.

©2020 BeverlyStock


A Very Old Tale

Belonging to no one, revered with such glory,
All told to children: allegory or story.
As very old tales told in various tongues,
Such fanciful, wondrous, phenomenons.

Yes, fairy tales telling of sweet little babes,
Or magical heros in fables and plays.
Some dancing, or fencing, or in a blindfold.
Told once, told again, then quite often retold.

Imagine ghost stories in dark eerie woods,
A little girl lost, dressed in flowing red hood,
Swashbuckling cats, or rings that are magic,
Beautiful girls sleep too long and that’s tragic.

Volumes of triumph vs tales of adversity,
Both heroes and villains rich in ancestry:
Kings serving poison, to keep heirs bedridden,
Fortune-telling snakes and boys who are wooden.

Rewriting the history of famous places—
Like how London Bridge used instead of wood braces,
The bones of young children who were sacrificed,
To tell a good tale imagination sufficed.

Though fables aren’t facts, they can give us a peak,
At minds that invent them and who always seek.
The noble, the virtuous, the good guy and bad,
A world that’s without them is bankrupt and sad.



Beverly Stock is a poet living in St. Louis, Missouri. Look for more of her work on her upcoming website:

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One Response

  1. C.B. Anderson


    I’m sure you already know that the proper plural of “phenomenon” is not “phenomenoms” but “phenomena.” Either way, the “tongues/ phenomenons” attempted rhyme leaves much to be desired. You have tested our tolerance for off-rhymes in several other places as well. “Adversity/ancestry” is intolerable by any rational measure of what a rhyme is supposed to be. “babes/plays”? OK, there is some assonance there, but I feel that the attempt to make a good rhyme was somewhat lazy. And so it goes. Do not be discouraged, but please refine your craft.


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