Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

Ghosts

Posted: June 16, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , ,

Today Pegman took us to Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey. I scrolled around pictures for a while before finding this wonderful picture of blowing snow.

The old people say there are no ghosts left
that they disappeared after the great famine
took more than half the population of the village.
They are wrong.

On the edge of fields
I see ghosts
dancing in clothes so bright
they put the sun to shame.

Or, I hear them in the barn
telling jokes and laughing
until I think their sides might split.
If only they still had sides.
If only.

Sometimes these fragile ghosts
sit at my kitchen table.
I drink tea while listening to their stories.
Often I reach out to touch them.
Futile, I know.
I need no reminder.

They leave notes
We love you
Kindness is the root of happiness
Go to bed early
Feed the dog

I no longer have a dog.
But my children don’t know that.
Their memories are
from the times before
the soldiers came,
starving and mean.

 

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This week Pegman took us to the Great Wall of China. What a fascinating place! Thanks, K. Rawson, for leading us here.

A brave man, strong and wise, I was a soldier.

Thought to be a mere peasant, I am clever. Two years ago I was raising Emperor Qin Shihuang’s ninety-nine Silkie chickens. Not one died.

I was a stealer of bread. Who can blame me? My children were starving. Perhaps they are dead.

Bravest and cleverest of all, I am a rebel. Qin Shihuang shall not rule long, for the people shall unite to take back their lives.

A whip cracks, thoughts fly from the mind of every man digging sand, loading kilns, stoking fires, hauling bricks and stumbling. Each knows there is no hope of freedom here. No rest until death helps one’s soul become one with the wall.
So, they bend their backs and think a new thought, one they are told to remember each and every day.

You belong to the Son of Heaven. You are nothing.

 

Silkie Chickens – aren’t they cute?

Image result for silkie chickens

The stones rang with laughter, the sound of bells and shouts from women so lonely they felt they would never be whole again. Battles had raged for five years, not a man remained in the village. On nights flush with drunken soldiers from foreign countries chickens and pigs were slaughtered, family quilts used for tents. Now, now, their men were only ten miles out, physically and mentally broken and bent. But these women were prepared, for they adored their men and no-longer-boys. Mattresses had been stuffed with chicken feathers, broth stewed from pig bones, love stitched into every new quilt.

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