Under the parabola of a ball,
a child turning into a man,
I looked into the air too long.
The ball fell in my hand, it sang
in the closed fist: Open Open
Behold a gift designed to kill.
Now in my dial of glass appears
the soldier who is going to die.
He smiles, and moves about in ways
his mother knows, habits of his.
The wires touch his face: I cry
NOW. Death, like a familiar, hears
And look, has made a man of dust
of a man of flesh. This sorcery
I do. Being damned, I am amused
to see the centre of love diffused
and the wave of love travel into vacancy.
How easy it is to make a ghost.
The weightless mosquito touches
her tiny shadow on the stone,
and with how like, how infinite
a lightness, man and shadow meet.
They fuse. A shadow is a man
when the mosquito death approaches.
– Keith Douglas, ‘How To Kill’ in Keith Douglas: The Complete Poems (ed. Desmond Graham; London: Faber & Faber, 2000), 119.
Excellent post! I enjoyed reading it very much.
Poetry will never loose it’s touch even as we enter this digital age. Thanks for sharing.
A Poem for Mothers
“How easy it is to make a ghost”
And how difficult for the mother left to grieve.