Placidi Coram Tempestate (THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM)

By Les Bush Poet

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“IT’S NOT ABOUT SENTIMENT, IT’S PAIN: RAW, COLD, AND INTENSE.”

In silence the final assault, surely the final encounter is awaited.

The forces of Death and Despair had launched attacks precisely,

without respite or pity, The poorly equipped battalions

of Intellect, Emotion and Strength had impeded them,

the defences were too disorganised to stop them.

Is the only option retreat? There is nowhere to go.

The Thinker, the Fighter, the Poet stand huddled.

There is no conversation, the frightened eyes say it all,

what had happened? The war had been brutal, frightening,

but it had its own sound: that filled the empty pauses,

that gave meaning to the struggle.

What is this ominous silence?

Where had all the meaning gone?

What had it all been about?

A shabby, uniformed figure stands, wearily approaches them,

“Who are you?” They demand. “I am the Will: that strain of steel resolve

hovering just above Reason and a mite short of Faith.

I am that quiet voice that lurks on the fringes

of your consciousness:whispering words of warning,

admonishing you to take that next faltering step.”

“I dwell in that haunting piece of music that resonates in your ears,

whether you be suspended in silence, or overwhelmed

by the sheer noise and roar of the world.

There I be: in your favourite book, that obscure piece of art;

in the humblest of surroundings, in those places

 where you find peace or tranquility.

I am found, suspended in the void

between fractured words

in broken sentences,

 dangling phrases.”

“My message? We are strong enough to face it.”

There is mumbled agreement. What do we do now?

“We re-organise, we start again.

we salvage our strength, our pride.

Silence has no name.

 It has no content.”

There is a pervasive energy now, to continue.

In the distance there is a bird call, so piercingly sweet and clear

it is almost painful to listen to it. The bird soared high into the sky,

it seemed to fly so high. “There is our symbol, our answer, “

the Will said: “it has freedom,

we have even a greater degree of freedom than it does.

Now is the time to grab and exercise it.”

The sounds of the world; the bird song,

the sounds of animals, of wind in the trees

are beautiful: an anthem.

One battle had been lost, not the war.

Have no doubts, there will be more battles,

more stunned and shocked silences:

more admonishment of the collective components

of “Who” and “What” we are, to hold firm and resolute.

This time, we can face the Foe; challenge it;

hold up a battered bridal bouquet, and say,

“‘Death, where is thy sting?’.

You might take my body,

my vitality: all that I am;

 I will be immortal,

treasured and sustained

in the loving thoughts

and memories of others

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