Some days your life becomes dark; fading black,
Because all you see is that.
People ask if you are feeling blue?
Oh, how you wish that were the colour you could choose.
Strength, what you had has gone, lost.
Breaking glass becomes tougher than rocks.
The tight grip on life you held, aside to wither,
Those once surrounding you in warmth now make you shiver.
Oh, to wish you were merely feeling blue,
Thoughts blackened, clouded, yet so clear in view.
And if one could say anything, anything that could be spoken,
You would taunt, I’m not nor near being broken. 
Spirit low yet valiant is the demeanour,
You are a warrior—keep fighting the battle in your arena.

-Xander Panteli

Smile when you wake,
Feel favoured you have woken,
To hear the whistling winds, or bird song sung and spoken.
Cast aside yesterdays woes,
Today you start anew,
Move hate so very far away; tomorrow may not come for you.
Do not compete for riches,
Nor compare enemies, friends, neighbours,
Lend hand to those less fortunate away from threats and dangers.
Do not judge nor force or blind,
Persons without your vision,
Instead, aid in search of keys to help unlock their prison.
And through the noise, the loud, loud noise,
From opinions thrown your way,
Silence those which vex the soul, or cloud a summers day.
Soon you’ll reach the troubled path,
The one which lays uncharted,
Take the unforeseeable step but take it lionhearted.
And when you stand within the cluster,
Yanked and tugged by fray, 
Rise, calm, steady yourself, forbear being dragged astray.
As those who wish to steal your time,
Delivering no wisdom in return,
Fleeting foot will serve you well and tool you, greater learn.
But lend an ear to those that speak,
Stories should be heard,
Ineffectual lips or slurs carry essential words.
Circumspect the bestial leader,
Extorting from the light,
A blinding eye still sees the truth even when out of sight.
Fill not yourself with promises,
Which enslave you to your oath,
The tidal wave of onus washes away the seeds of growth.
And when you lose and lose you will,
Do not dishearten by defeat,
Stand again, sword and shield for fear culls the weak.
And when they cast you from the pack,
To feed the hungry wild,
Return you shall from untamed lands leading the exiled.

-Xander Panteli

I remember as a young child, my Grandpa sitting on the end of my bed in the Isle of Wight telling me bedtime stories. Stories of the wars, but with his unique twists and funny sound effects.

How I loved his stories. Stories of war to a child are fascinating, filled with heroes and adventure. Guns to shoot the enemies from afar, imaginary grenades lobbed into fortresses to blast away the enemy, and remaining survivors hoisting the white flags as you overrun the defences.

That was the child me, in the playground for many years with my friends, lobbing grenades. The child me never understood how horrific war was.
It is as you get older, you understand the unique twists and the funny sound effects were to dampen the devastation, hide the horror and cushion the child’s imagination. A heroic war story to some was a living nightmare to others.

I openly admit how fascinated I am with the written language, the formation of words, the importance of articulation and the power behind the pen. And how I wish I could write a piece of poetry myself about this day, but how can I? And why would I? When I can leave it to the likes of Wilfred Owen.

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, chocking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues-
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

– Wilfred Owen

Lest We Forget

And as always, thanks for reading.

for a brother (in-laW) I never got to meet.

I see you, not through my eyes, but in others.
They share your memories which now are mine, only if a name I hear.
Your voice unheard, but perhaps a glimpse of you in my sons.
A brother who I did not meet but a brother all the same.
Unforeseen circumstances lay the shame.

The pen within scribing last words, and those words no one will ever hear.
Knowing a heart beats no more, ordered by the mind rings the bells and illuminates the lighthouses.
The sound is deafening.
The lights are blinding.
The blackness sits and the silence tolls.
Emotions burning coals.
How is it we only know when it is too late? The time we can never get back.
We all sadly miss that.

The tree which took J.R.R Tolkien and you fondly still grows.
In spring the leaves show.
In May we still go.
A family tree which roots the divide between you and I, so we remember you.
A physical you.
A you who you will always be.
A brother, a son, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, a memory, a smile, a thought, a laugh… a reminder.
I will remember you, through my mind, and through the eyes of others.
Still loved, still missed and always remembered.
Rest well, wherever you may be.

-Xander Panteli

We sow our seeds in fields we know,
And hope our children grow.
We use the tools we have been shown,
And help our children grow.
We cast an eye towards the locust and hope they do not show,
Let our children grow.

Cracks upon our land do show,
We hope our children grow.
Nurture seeds the way we know,
We help our children grow.
We cast an eye towards the defending scarecrow,
Protect our children grow.

The locust swarm we did not know,
Protect our seedlings withered row.
Nets and fleece shield the bitter snow,
We use the tools in which we know,
We hope our children grow.

Our fields have changed our seeds remain,
But more they need to grow.
Our tools duly rust, in scarecrow we must trust,
The old no longer grow.
Wells dry hopeless, signs of locust,
I hope our children grow.
The rake, the plough, the fork, the hoe,
The fields, the tools we used to know,
No longer help our children grow.
Will the locust go? Can we scare the crow?
Our children they must grow.
For the field we used to know,
Let swarm the locust, murder of crow,

Let our children grow.

-Xander Panteli