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Poetry: Feather of the Albatross

Feather of the Albatross

I have picked my battles --
rushed into them -- any fight is a good fight
and a good fight is worth fighting well.
I have called others to the fray
Called for others to make a farewell to arms
Fought on one side, the other,
both at once.

I have tallied up the ills
and singular misfortunes inflicted
in what came before in the heat of the moment
then sniping, sullenly protecting our wounds,
hearts hid in Brutalist bunkers:
waiting for a dystopia that never quite unfurls.
Are we now frogs? Is this our kettle?
Is it boiling yet?

Too long, too many injured
The same war-torn ground we've marched for years
A war of words, for words, on words.
The blood is real.
What possible gain?
There is no victory, only loss.



Bits of this have been swirling around in my head for some time; most of the work on this was done over the summer while I was dogsitting for Cody. After it sat for a while, I think I've been able to clear up the major things that were still bothering me.

There is a nod to "any time is a good time for good fun" here.

The original working title was "white flag"; re-reading tonight made it clear that was not quite it. Then the concept of the albatross hit me, and my brain lit up. "White feather" was not subtle enough. (Walter Blythe wants to talk to me. Not sure why. :-P)

I happen to really like Brutalist architecture. Also it was an excuse to use the word "dystopia".

Last line is weak. "Loss" is supposed to be both loss of the abstract war, and personal loss and grieving. (Also, I just lost the game.)

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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