Dispatch, a poem by Andrew Neel

From Hoosier Writers 2012

“As for the metaphysical thoughts, my dear sir, allow me to say that any brain is capable of producing them, it’s just that we cannot always find the right words.”   -Senhor Jose   All the Names (Saramago)

General while enacting your order dated 25 September 19XX
Several men in the trenches began displaying aquatic symptoms
Unexplainable by the camp’s doctor.  General the infection’s spread
Writhes like an electric eel from man to man without distinction.
General my men cannot fight at the bottom of the ocean.
General Pvt. Stevens worries that his uniform conceals his gills.
General everyone is blowing bubbles.  General do you understand
The starfish?  General we refuse to close our eyes for fear
We’ll drown in our sleep.  General there are sharks.
General we’re just floating down here forgotten and tired.
General factions arise: pirates and devotees of Neptune,
Partisans of you General as also those who blame you
For the minnows between their toes and the kelp in their teeth.
General it does seem strange.  General the mermaids’
Seductions distract but we want more, General we deserve more.
Or
Do we?   General I must apologize; General it’s not so bad.
General the ocean contains many wonders.  General
It’s not always cold down here.  General just yesterday
I saw a volcano erupt beneath the sea!  Such lava!
General an octopus produces great art.
General I will explore the Titanic.  General
The ocean contains a very special species of tree.
General some days all I want to do is lay in the coral.
General an ocean circus is not what you’d expect.
General I’m an oceanic jazz man.

General the situation here at the water front is murky.
General we were not born navy men but we will try.
General tell our mothers.  General
We may never walk on land again.

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