Poetry by Shigé Clark

"Let the battered heart rejoice"



When the Call Comes

You don’t have to fight this battle,
You don’t have to face the pain
If you will not risk the failure,
Then you cannot take the blame.
It will all happen without you,
You will just be left behind.
You will only miss the victory
And glory you would find.
In this war, there will be martyrs,
And the ash will be their shroud.
And some also will be heroes,
Rising from the smoke, unbowed.
We will raise, and fall, and conquer,
Facing, fearing our defeat,
But how hard-fought is the battle
Will make triumph twice as sweet!
At the moment our Commander
Calls the cry, “The war is won!”
And each voice joins in, resounding,
And each man is named His son,
Will you risk to miss that moment,
When the fight is worth it all?
At the chance to meet your purpose,
Will you cower at the call?

– s. Clark

Theme Week: Adventure – 1

Give Me the Hills

Give me the hills where the giants are!
Give me the river that rages
Send me to reach for the furthest star,
Upon the road that extends too far
Don’t leave me to my cages

Give me the battle that can’t be won
Give me a fire still burning!
Tell me the course that I cannot run
The place where others have come undone,
Help me to fill this yearning

Send me to fight in the hopeless war
To shatter unbreakable chains
Send me when others can fight no more
To storm the deepest and darkest shore
Choose me, and I will not wane

I will stay true when all others fade
I will stand, bold and defiant
Only through pain are warriors made,
Yet I will still seek the endless raid,
Give me the hills with the giants!

– s. Clark

Hold the Line

Hold the line.
Because every battle is decisive in this war.
And every inch of ground worth bleeding,
Even dying for
And should the blood you spill
Fall to water seeds you will not reap
And grow up to bear fruit you cannot keep
Does it matter?
I challenge you
To move upon this blood-soaked battleground
And let the horn of victory, your battle-cry, resound
And fight!
Against the most cunning and dangerous of foes
For the most priceless and important of prizes.
No one knows
The blood you spill, the grief you bear, the pain you withstand
And the battle will be far uglier than you have planned
So ask yourself
How far are you willing to go for a stranger? A child of earth?
Loss of sleep? Fervent prayer? Lack of food? Self restraint?
How much is one soul worth?

– s. Clark

Precursor to Change

I don’t ask for innovation,
Just that you resent your cage
Though I favor inspiration,
I can do so much with rage.

– s. Clark

Phoenix Spirit

I will not sleep beneath the breath
Of ice, that freezes. “Wait for death”
It soothes, as though that is the goal
That waits my writhing, striving soul.
“I’ll set this soul ablaze!” I cry,
“And soar to cinders through the sky!
I’d rather burn to ashen dust
Than die within this frozen crust
Of apathy.” To pierce the night…
My purpose is to shine, to fight!
And not that I should safely stand,
Unchallenged, in this tundra-land.
Not so! This world will burn along
With me, and learn to sing my song
Of light. And should the fire die,
At least I will have lit the sky.

– s. Clark


Charge! And arm the batter-ram
To break the wall, the wicked dam!
It shall release it’s waves of woe,
Upon us hordes of heartaches flow.
And all to fall, the hopeless foe.
They know not who I am!

– s. Clark

Molon Labe

The sun has beaten on my back
This load has bowed my head
But, even weary, in attack
These forces must be led

The bog is thick, the mountain high
My body weak and shaken
But even under blackest sky
This foe must still be taken

The road is long, the work is hard,
And praises are so few
My broken body may be scarred
But I must still be true

And to the bitter end I fight
For never will we yield
And I will die, by soldier’s right,
Upon a blood-soaked field

So even if our foe should find
A way to break us down
Until the end, we hold the line
And we will stand our ground

I cannot keep them from all harm
But I will not forsake them
And at the call, “Lay down your arms”
I’ll answer, “Come and take them!”

– s. Clark


Someone tell me that there is hope
Still left to wake the world,
That in the voices lost to scope
Remains a victor’s chance.
And tell me, have they sounded yet
The woeful call, “Retreat”?
To pull back hands that have been set
Upon the tired task?

I have not heard them cry the call,
Yet look how fast we flee!
And leave the stoic few to fall
Abandoned at our heels.
How can our moral ears abide
A people’s dying gasps,
While we, disgracing all our pride,
Give up before we’ve lost?

Now let us rip the curtain back,
The wizard bear his face!
That we surrender, in our lack,
Before we face the charge.
I cannot bear the hollow chest
That marks a craven soul
Of one who broke the line when pressed
To let conviction die.

– s. Clark

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