Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Writing * Poetry * Dark Fiction * Weird * Fantastic * Horror * Fantasy * Science Fiction * Literature

New poem


Tattered banners snapping in the breeze,
riddled and torn, shot through by musketry,
blackened and dyed with blood and powder smoke:
abandoned standards, flagging gonfalons,
pennons and streamers, sacred oriflammes
of death, their quarters flayed, fraying in strips,
unpicked into the wind and ravelling
in ripples, bunting beating from lost waifs,
borne aloft on poles before the hordes
criss-crossing Europe, cantons pocked by hurts,
vexed vexillology of frenzy past,
save our eagles, flown on stricken fields;
now threadbare honours, drooping at half-mast
in martial chapels, dipped in cobweb shrouds,
the faded shades of former colours, hung
over the skeleton armies of the dead.