Over the next week I’ll be posting information on the poets who will be reading from their work at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Jan 15th-18th.
Christopher T. George will be speaking “On Using History in Poetry” on Sunday, January 18th, at 1:00pm.
Christopher T. George is one of the editors of Loch Raven Review published in Maryland. He was born in Liverpool, England in 1948 and first emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1955. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, near Johns Hopkins University with his wife Donna and two cats. His poetry has been published in Poet Lore, Lite, Maryland Poetry Review, Smoke, and Bogg, and online at Crescent Moon Journal, Electric Acorn, Melic Review, Painted Moon Review, Pierian Springs, the poetry (WORM), Triplopia, and Web Del Sol Review. He is the editor of the Desert Moon Review poetry workshop at http://www.thedesertmoonreview.com and has his own personal poetry site at http://chrisgeorge.netpublish.net.
Eating a Bruised Bosc Pear on Armistice Day
My short, serrated wood-handled knife slices
into pear-flesh soft as Camembert: the skin
of the fruit scarred like a map of the Somme
– shell craters, churned, disinterred No Man’s Land;
peeling away puttees, sodden khaki trousers,
a surgeon’s knife dissects a private’s leg.
To ghost machine gun fire, I savor sweet
overripe fruit: care-package from home.
(Second prize winner, Interboard Poetry Contest, December 2012, judged by Polina Barskova, who wrote: “This poem is exciting due it’s being so specific, so precise, so dry – one really can see, sense that moment of pleasure, moment of the Earth’s kindness.”)
Shot at Dawn
We shot him because it was only right,
the lad who had deserted his post at first light.
We followed orders, did our duty by him,
abided by the regulations—every line.
The private never denied his cowardice
—a lack of moral fiber is what it is.
The chaplain gave the lad his last rites.
We’ll have a bayonet less, next fight.
The boy accepted the offer of a blindfold
and faced his death like a man, all told:
the sergeant gave the kid a Woodbine,
lit it for him with a match, most kind.
The private coughed at the drag,
must have been his very first fag.
Our squad obeyed the command from the Sarge.
The boy dropped at the single barrage.