Worry During Wartime

Worry During Wartime

I listen to cheerful bagpipes–a silly indulgence
at dusk, a scissoring
of frenzied buzz, blurred knees, imagined whipsaw
of pleated plaid, swirl of too much
warmth swallowed, my forehead aching
at the sudden undertones
of those other bagpipes, the ones that
line up in plaintive rows,  inexorably even
in height of hem,
step,  drumbeat–a tuneless
six feet below turned
earth, church on green
or granite, too much warmth
swallowed.

Try not to think
about it.  Should think about it,
but try not to.

 **********************************************
Draft draft draft poem for the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics prompt by the most wonderful Brian Miller and the also most wonderful Gretchen Leary.  Gretchen suggested writing to music.  I have. 
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29 Comments on “Worry During Wartime”

  1. brian miller Says:

    mmm….was just commenting over at wolfsrosebud about bagpipes…i love the bags…sad when its at a funeral, but it just captures the right mood…and even then i dont mind the firend i find in them….i like the back and forth there in the end as well…needing to think on it, but not wanting to…

  2. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …bagpipes can always be associated to war times as it plays a music that, for me, rather evokes lamentation / mourning / sad voyage than welcoming good vibes… though not exactly but when i read your poem having the title i kind of remember the poem: To Lucasta before going to War… and having bagpipes as primary element brought in some memories from the movie: The Patriot with Mel Gibbson… ha… too much to relate… smiles…

  3. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    Actually Kelvin, I think the Gibson movie was BRAVEHEART, a great Celtic score. Bagpipes used to frighten me like Ringling Bros clowns as a kid, and Highlanders in kilts & knee socks seemed sad. Now they pipe the bittersweet truth, honoring the fallen firefighters, policemen, and soldiers, and I hear a different tune now.


  4. I like the play of words here K: a scissoring
    of frenzied buzz, blurred knees, imagined whipsaw
    of pleated plaid ~

    I enjoy listening to bagpipes, specially on memorable occasions ~

  5. Mary Says:

    There is no more plaintive instrument than a bagpipe. Cannot help but be moved by the sound of the pipes. I always have tears. Your poem was very evocative of the music that is like none other!


  6. I know that music, even the most amazing kind, can be almost…too much. You captured that dizzy headache very well.

  7. Rowan Taw Says:

    I love bagpipes, and I live opposite a church where they are sometimes played with the funeral procession. I have to temper my enthusiasm for them by the mood of the occasion.


  8. I can hear the lament from the bagpipes in your poetry. Have always thought they sound sad but they are not part of our funeral traditions here in Sweden.

  9. claudia Says:

    bagpipes always give me shivers cause they have something so lamenting in their voice…an ache, that seems to well from the deepest point and carries beyond borders…so i just can feel them here in your poem with the theme you touch

  10. David King Says:

    I am one who likes the bagpipes, but I hear what you say. There is always a sadness in the sound for me. but there is beauty in the sound as in your poem.

  11. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Very fun. Can’t believe it is a “draft”

    Associations both dark and bright of the droning instrument that pulls up earthy overtones and bones of a chanter all alone. Do we dance, cry or moan to the drone?

  12. janehewey Says:

    The sound of bagpipes takes me to green hills, wide fields, always the earth… the marching on or buried in. Drone draws me back to ground, a constant. Very nice poem!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you, Jane. I was not so happy with it as I wrote quite quickly, mainly because I wanted to participate in the very nice prompt of Gretchen and Brian. Afterwards I thought of older poems I might have used that are more finished! But anyway, it’s all interesting. Thanks for your kindness. k.

  13. Luke Prater Says:

    draft? Love it – this passage is so rich in aural device –

    a scissoring
    of frenzied buzz, blurred knees, imagined whipsaw
    of pleated plaid

  14. Mama Zen Says:

    This is so sad. The ending is brilliant.


  15. Love bagpipes. I also love the Spanish version they have in Galicia. They call it “cornamusa”, which is one of those words in Spanish you either forget easily or you remember for the rest of your life.

    Lovely poem. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  16. kkkkaty Says:

    ..having images of gentlemen in kilts and highland dancing…as well as the more somber melancholy sounds of the pipes…I love your brief indulgence today 😉

  17. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Draft? I think it’s great the way it is… I especially like the beginning.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Laura. I feel like something is a draft if it’s really quickly done because I know I usually take a huge amount of back and forth over things. k.

  18. vbholmes Says:

    “whipsaw of pleated plaid” the words beg to be said aloud. Very nice.


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