That Silent Foe – A Poem

I oft return to joust that silent foe;
His only role, to fill my heart with woe;
He comes in forms so many, so confused;
And tricks of generations he has used.

Great men before me too have with him clashed;
Their soundless swords against his mail have crashed;
Some have vanquished true said enemy;
Searching for the words to set them free.

But others facing down have lost the fight;
Though their names were loud and stars were bright;
Surrendering their craft to agent’s wares;
All earthly knacks did purchase but despair.

Name him then who did our heroes slay?
Who would not let them fight another day?
What is he called, and now to say it loud;
Though he be mean and we so very proud.

Yes, pride – that’s it who leadeth to a fall;
Turns out t’was pride that killed them one and all;
No enemy without could best their strength;
T’were inner rivals who reduced their length.

This poem short betokens my attempt;
To make myself from his great wiles, exempt;
Though hero strong and tall I may not be;
Perhaps my true advantage is to see.

To our brave soldiers who have lost their way;
To Hemingway and Poe a thanks to say;
From ancient foe they are now free at last;
Enjoying up on high their long repast.

Will those of us who fight join giants great?
Will work of pen and quill reverberate?
Or will we fade away, ne’er to exist?
And epic fights with foe will fade like mists?

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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