EDENBRAY in EXILE – 44 – yes i’m sure it is vermillion

‘Edenbray in Exile’

A Retrospective Anthology of 50 Poems, Articles and Essays

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Yes, I’m Sure It Is Vermillion …

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I had spent at least an hour in this hot mustard, salad-sun

While two small flies made circles around my sweaty head

The August corn waving tall and tidy, a yellow sea, swollen

When I found the end of a pencil and started to scribble

I lifted my arm to give blood to my shoulder throbbing

Staring at the sticky mess both khaki, crimson and the sun

Woken from a tortured dream, there flying a lost bird sightless

Braver than a pitman’s pony, it sang one note of surprising joy

Sound, a silent witness dressed in uniform still buttoned to the neck

The dazed expression of my dead friend who lay beside me quietly

I dreamed of thee dear Jenny as we lay, your left breast in my hand

That had been a better day when I lay inside you, I did not wear a glove

This paper in my closed hand is blotted now with a trail of palest red

Cold the breeze that made me shiver, whispers this soldier is not dead

In the foggy, bloody haze, a picture forming of colour, of fire and light

Beyond the battle-scarred high-ground, smeared in shit-brown sienna

Beyond these moments where I have lain with only dead people

For these past two hours, I open a box of paints, I select a palette

The stench of mud drying, nauseating & honest, the night air falling

Upon this brow, it says I cannot hope to see the morning or the tide turn

And Jenny in my thoughts, soft and warm, her flesh like life, not death

Here hidden in this cancer of man’s regret I daub the crimson patina

Upon this tunic, it lays heavy now a sodden wretch, thus portrait cold

Yes, I’m sure it is vermillion – that colour no nearer orange than to red



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We remember your life and the real death of so many. Your sad, sad demise. 

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Author’s Original Note : It is the Anniversary this year of the end of the 14-18 War. The most hellish War known to modern man. I wanted to write something you could step inside & experience. I have no real idea, a few of us might have some slight idea of what dying in the trenches in that God-awful war was like. This is how I chose to visit that dreadful war in 1918 by using just a few words to describe a picture and then leave some suggested artist marks where the picture might go.

The central character of this piece is some poor boy drifting slowly into eternity’s light as the vermillion ebbs steadily from his body. Friendless and alone among the dead and dying, he remembers some sweet moments of his life and scribbles them on a scrap of bloodstained paper with the butt of a pencil he finds in his khaki, tunic, breast-pocket. He remembers the intimacy of making love to his darling Jenny and the pleasure he had in selecting colours from his paint box when painting a picture. We should always remember the best moments of our lives they may be the only consolation we have on our own deathbeds. Goodnight sweet boy with your vermillion rosy cheeks I can see you in my mind’s eye.                                                                                         edenbray ~ 24.07.2018

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#Authors Extra Note : As you will see from the Authors Original Note, this poem was actually written in 2018 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of the Great War of 1914-18,

It is included in the 2nd Edenbray Retrospective to commemorate the Anniversary of V.E. Day  ~ Lest we forget the sacrifice of our British and Allied forces War Dead.

We are charged however at this time of Pandemic by the heroism of that whole World War II Generation when we consider the heroism we are seeing today within the NHS and so many other areas and so this Piece carries a double-edged sword both of #respect for that War Generation and the Battle we face today against this silent, invisible and lethal foe.

                                                                                                                              ~ edenbraytoday

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About edenbray

I am a writer ... a beat poet who began writing poetry way back in 1966 ... 'edenbray is born ugly, wet, covered in blood, mucous & bodily functions, the effluence of my short life' ... I recently published my 1st solo Anthology - the best of 60 years writing - previously I ran my own Art Supplies Store for 40 yrs before I became a full-time writer I am a Blogger who has posted 1,000 poems - available in 24 themed booklets ... please ask for details + leave a 'like' or a comment for my encouragement, thank you so much for listening - I truly value your opinion on my work ~ in fact I literally survive on your creative input ~ edenbray
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