An Internal Slant Rhyming Ballad from 1972

A Former US Marine [1971-1972] ~

by John Gregory Evans

© 5/14/2020 8:00:23 AM

(5) 11 Line Stanzas, (1) 5 Line Envoi, the last line for each stanza a refrain. Envoi ddedE and the lines rhyme scheme = ababceddedE

Stanza I

I am fire fanning the flames of crucified flesh ~                                                            

Unduly forsaken, hot, red, hallowed blood flow                        

burns through a teen’s guiltless veins upon the cervical mesh,                                  

I am the warrior drawn of courage ink wells scribing pains,                                       

where death is not darkness but shooting darts, drop by drop for a liquified line discerning of all said rhymes, or not, but a hunger strikes each hungered note, creating leverage, making it mine. I am the illusive firing-squad that bears no plot. This hosting flame of cloistered nights, of frozen time, of swollen veins.

Stanza II

I am the oppression of nights as darkness falls, this hidden feast, I am this mirrored silence with bitter echoes that cannot be trained                                

These sacred weavings for a secular lunar sky, to say the least,                                  

I am this pen-aged ink and virgin white, that liquifies the entire page.                     

I am the stony cracks of ancient ruins, sand dunes where bleeding rain-                 

drops do not fall, and, I am the broken glass of windows just a stone’s                    

throw away. I am, the iambic soul print, a page of slate, an altruistic embrace.      

The troubadour quakes from within this written art to taste.                                     

I am the inkwells that await their present tense writing these verbal tones.            

I am the digital airwaves, dimensional windows, traveling nomad’s ancient bones.

This hosting flame of cloistered nights, of swollen blood, of swollen veins.

Stanza III

I am the dust of nature and nocturnal sweat, the night-tide’s thirst, a naked beast

of fire and flesh. I am the pulsing burn wrapped around these sacred curves, reigned

in as this fevered burn, a bursting flared inferno in the night, down home east

among the pines, kissed the fragmented steel a million times, a bloody mess pained.

The issue of dog-tags depends on you, a tattoo wrapped around your fuck’g neck,

ninety days have completed their run, onward into scenarios of combat zones,

Fire-fights, explosive blasts, M-60 cartridges spent their gutted shells

to their intended target, how then upon a perfect training, one of the best of the best

Gets hit, shit! My cervical spine upon an uncertain time of duties, laying till emptied blood vessels and organ tissues cry out in an anguished flood of tears, fragmented blast effects

Forced upon my neck with blood and sweat, snaking down my nerve-damaged spine.

By not taking care of their own I’m taking it home to where the treasure lay, that is in the truth.


Paralyzed by reddening thoughts dripping line for line, and word for word

Of concussion by the spent cartridge

that waited its time striking my spine

as I lay frozen in a field of dirt. This hosting flame of cloistered nights, of frozen time, of swollen veins.

2 thoughts on “An Internal Slant Rhyming Ballad from 1972

  1. “where death is not darkness but shooting darts, drop by drop for a liquified line…” is one of many profoundly terrifying lines in this piece.

    You captured something here that is hard to “comment” on, I hope brevity suffices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Warren,
      once you have experienced the totally unspeakable within a regimented environment, and as a trained poet, these lines, and many others, come to the surface of an esoteric, mysterious, intuitive nature. Very difficult to explain, but based upon your very well articulated comment, I see you have captured that which is undeniably difficult to explain. Poetry has saved me from an ideation I could not escape from till poetry came along. I sincerely thank you for such an awesome comment, and I hope to see you here again. Stay well, Warren.

      Liked by 1 person

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