poetry meme (I have trouble picking favorites.)

There’s this "jazz haiku" by a friend of mine, Michael G. "Freedom rings.  Is your cellphone on vibrate?"  that is kind of funky. 

and, honestly, it’s either the poem below or "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.  or "The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" by TS Eliot.  or, "i thank you god for most this amazing day" by ee cummings. 

For My Brother, Reported Missing in Action, Spring 1943 by Thomas Merton

Sweet brother, if I do not sleep
My eyes are flowers for your tomb;
And if I cannot eat my bread,
My fasts shall live like willows where you died.
If in the heat I find no water for my thirst,
My thirst shall turn to springs for you, poor traveller.

Where, in what desolate and smokey country,
Lies your poor body, lost and dead?
And in what landscape of disaster
Has your unhappy spirit lost its road?

Come, in my labor find a resting place
And in my sorrows lay your head,
Or rather take my life and blood
And buy yourself a better bed –
Or take my breath and take my death
And buy yourself a better rest.

When all the men of war are shot
And flags have fallen into dust,
Your cross and mine shall tell men still
Christ died on each, for both of us.

For in the wreckage of your April Christ lies slain,
And Christ weeps in the ruins of my spring:
The money of Whose tears shall fall
Into your weak and friendless hand,
And buy you back to your own land:

The silence of Whose tears shall fall
Like bells upon your alien tomb.
Hear them and come: they call you home.


I do love this poem by Thomas Merton. I read it on Memorial Day from the pulpit when I was a guest minister. It’s got a religious overtone. but the love in it is unmistakable. and his brother was his last living relative, and you can feel his ache about being alone in the world.

and I love the way it laments about the cost of war while denying war’s power.