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Soldier In The Sun

August 28, 2012

Even the sunlight cannot

Wash away the darkness,

Or bring warmth to his face.

It can’t illuminate his mind again,

Or bring his friend’s body back

To life.

He dips his dirty hands in the well,

But the cold water won’t clean away the blood,

And the memory of death is ingrained,

Forever in his skin.

He soaks his body to cleanse his pores,

But no physical action can take away the past,

What’s done forever is forever done.

So he rests on a rock, still and silent,

Soldier in the sun,

The war in his mind even more violent,

Than the one he left behind.

How does one change from man to soldier

And then back again?

How can he forget the sound,

Of a dying scream,

Or fix the pain inside the loved ones,

Left behind?

He has the knowledge of a life so fragile,

And is expected to return home,

To face his wife,

And his son,

With that knowledge in his eyes.

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From → Photos, Poetry

  1. i wonder what did u feeling when write this cause i feel like my stomach turned over by reading it, n make me wonder too, what does it worth to get involve with war,

    • Well I actually felt quite emotional after I finished writing this poem. I’m sure that being involved in a war has the potential to be devastating to the psyche and I’ve seen many cases where post-traumatic stress disorder was a serious problem for soldiers returning from war. The things they see and have to go through must be horrifying.

      • actually sylv, i never so emotional as you did so you can wrote this deep and thouching poem. maybe because i pay attention mostly in how i reach my dream. it seems that i should concern too with my surrounding.

  2. beautiful.

  3. Sylv – I need to tell you, I was about to embark on a poem based on Afghanistan, and came to your blog for inspiration and to set the mood, and atmosphere..and read, experienced Soldier in the Sun. Well…what a series of emotions – I’m not surprised you got emotional after writing. Your poem is real – very real.
    As you say, the stress upon returning can be unbalancing. Some is directly linked to what is seen – and done, as well as the sheer emotion of fighting to save a friend. Some is due to the sudden absence of adrenalin, which is often at a high level and becomes a normal state. Some also is from suddenly becoming someone with useless skills after having key skills. That is also nerve-wracking. Your poem is a classic for me.

    • Thank you very much, Managua. I’m glad the poem reached you and thanks for commenting..
      The causes you listed for stress after war are all very insightful and true. I’m sure that anybody involved would be affected by them on some level. The whole experience of war is so traumatic and disruptive in every way, it would be incredible if the soldiers were not affected… I can only imagine it.
      I very much look forward to reading your poem based on Afghanistan when it is done!
      Have great night πŸ™‚

  4. Reblogged this on Managua Gunn's Pirate Haven and commented:
    An emotional experience from Sylv, a poet I admire. She catches the feeling we have deep inside…

  5. Heart-wrenching. How could one not get emotional?

  6. it stubbed my heart and this is the real world. Pain is much and more than that!
    Beautiful poem, it touches the mind and the heart
    😦 pain

  7. Your poem is outstanding sylv! Being a disabled veteran, i am feeling your words so much and my heart goes out to those who serve everyday now! They give so much to come back so tortured in their hearts and minds! Thanks for sharing your heart! You are a blessing, a very special one indeed!

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, Wendell! I was wondering if anybody who had actually experienced war would read this, so I’m very glad you found my poem and connected with it.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts…

  8. Very excellent. I’ve added a link on Thoughts of a Poet in the Rain to your blog.

    • Thank you! I am honoured πŸ™‚ I can’t see it on your site, though?

  9. Just an added note. I am a Vietnam Vet and I suffer from PTSD. You go to war and come back different.

  10. Tragic, heart breaking and all too true. Thank you for putting this into words.

    • It is certainly heart breaking… Thank you for your lovely comment x

  11. Thank you, Sylv, for this…. your are speaking for many who can’t express it like you do – and yet it is so important that it be expressed in a way like this, that I can feel the depth in your words.

    • Thank you, Tomas. I hope I can help people in some small way, even if it’s only through expression. Cheers for your lovely comment.

  12. A real depth clearly expressed, there’s a lot of feeling from line one: for me a real power to
    “Even the sun” which is echoed throughout.

  13. I feel every word. Well done Sylvie. Take care. Ralph x

  14. Well done,


  15. Some events in life are completely soul destroying, and this is one of the worst, because a man in this place is ‘told’ to experience this. Young men that join the military see it as opportunity, because that’s how the dream is sold to them – but as your poem so perfectly describes, it is no dream, but a living nightmare! Wars do a perfect job at breaking a portion of society down, in one way or another, and the horror you’ve described here, I feel is subtly passed on to the next generations, a silent inheritance of horror. So, well said, more people should write on these subjects and then maybe the people of the world would refuse fight another’s war!
    Suzy πŸ™‚

    • Those are true words, Suzy. War is such a brutal, damaging thing for all involved, whether directly or indirectly. I can’t fathom how a soldier can come out of it and be the same man he was or come to terms with everything that he has seen and done. I feel for those dealing with this situation!

      If only writing about it could change things in some way, but this is unlikely. All I can hope is that it might help someone in some small way.

  16. A powerful war poem. Some men are lucky. Forget war and go home. Some carry the burden of war forever. Thank you for the outstanding poetry.

    • It’s a heavy burden to be carried and it is certainly a lucky man to be able to forget it easily.

      Thank you for commenting, John.

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