Sunday, March 24, 2013

in the night the weeds

This poem was written for NaPoWriMo 2011. Some recollections from my army days. It did not attract a single comment back then. Let's see if it can do better now. :)

photo by carygrant
image from

in the night the weeds

in the night the weeds, the ferns were
all black amorphous shadows that
rustled and creaked and we sat
among them listening to
the quarrels of
the frogs,
the toads,
as we broke regulations
lighting up a smoke, cupping
the cigarettes in our hands to hide
the glow of burning tips, waiting, rifles
cold on skin, for the next detail to relieve us.


Shared on Poetry Pantry #143 at Poets United.

©cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2013

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Blogger nissa_loves_cats said...

I liked it. You really made the scene come to life with specific detail.

24 March, 2013 23:36  
Blogger Mary said...

You have described the scene well. I like the sights and sounds you brought into this poem; and the fear is palpable! You told it like it is.......

25 March, 2013 01:29  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

I remember those moments from my own forces days. Great write.

25 March, 2013 01:39  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

nice capture of a moment...makes me wonder where you were stationed...interesting too on the concentration, the watching the grass...the slow drag of smoke...the waiting

25 March, 2013 02:37  
Blogger Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

There is a wonderful feeling of freedom in this write--really lovely!

25 March, 2013 02:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this. You capture the entire experience very succinctly.

25 March, 2013 03:43  
Blogger Kimolisa said...

Very interesting snapshot of life. I really liked this.

25 March, 2013 04:37  
Blogger Serena Helriot said...

I can feel the tension in the waiting, as you heard the quarrels of the frogs... then the hiding of the lights from the cigarettes, the trying to have a normal calm moment... but the rifles ready in case they're needed before you're relieved of your duty for the night... really good write. You provided a perfect snapshot of a moment that I could feel down to my bones...

25 March, 2013 06:22  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Can't imagine why it didn't get comments then. I think it's wonderfully written, creating both visuals and mood cleverly and with great economy. You put me right there, in both externals and feeling - and I am a 73-year-old female pacifist!

25 March, 2013 07:27  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

PS I wonder if you mean 'relieve' rather than 'relief'?

25 March, 2013 07:29  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Love the mood of this..just a simple vignette but I can see it all.Lovely.

25 March, 2013 09:43  
Blogger Kim Nelson said...

Until near the end I had no idea we were talking military. Camaraderie in the dark wild is the same no matter the company we keep.

25 March, 2013 10:13  
Blogger rch said...

That opening image sticks in my mind, I like the suspense.

25 March, 2013 20:29  
Blogger Kerry O'Connor said...

I think you have captured a sense of time and space very well in this descriptive piece. The reader gets the feeling that there is a story behind this. I think your choice of the word 'quarrels' was inspired in the context of a war poem.

25 March, 2013 22:13  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! glad you liked the poem. :)


thank you for the kind comment. :)


i guessed most servicemen went through those moments in their lives.


that was in my own country. it's quite boring, really, nothing much

happens. (which is a good thing).


well, out in the open, it's better than being cooped up in a camp. :)

McGuffy Ann,

thank you! :)


thanks for visiting! :)


thanks! it's a job we have to do. :)


probably it was during NaPoWriMo month. poetry overkill. :D

sometimes, we bear arms to prevent war. (strange as it may sounds)

thanks for pointing that out. i have used the noun instead of the verb. i have corrected it. :)


thanks for dropping by. :)


there's not much choice, out there in the dark. :)


first impression helps. :)


thanks for the visit.

yes, i have chosen the word "quarrels" carefully, but i didn't think about it in the context of a war poem when i wrote it.(you hear sounds clearer in the night). i was writing about a squad on a training exercise, but i think it can also apply to a moment in war. thanks again for your comment. :)

25 March, 2013 22:37  
Blogger Ash Sharma said...

Nice work, a refreshing read :-)

27 March, 2013 02:16  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thanks for the visit, Ash. :)

27 March, 2013 19:47  

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