Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tantalyzing Tuesday Teaser, November 12, 2013 ~ "On The Wire" by Robert W. Service

As I write this, it is Veteran's Day. It is a day of all importance as we honor our men, women and families that have served our Country honorably in wartime, peacetime ~ abroad and at home. We have always kept the home fires burning as we await your safe return into our arms.

In my family alone, we celebrate 11 generations of men, women and families that have fought for our Freedom and that of our Allies. And as we know, Freedom is not free. I chose to reprint today my Mother's favorite poet, Robert W. Service. His piece, On The Wire, depicts the price of Freedom too well.

Please be kind and visit all the other participating authors of Tantalizing Tuesday Teasers by clicking on the link or visiting them one by one, listed below. I am sure their Teasers are more in keeping with our fun group and that is to select a photo that inspires a 200 word tickler tease. I chose to depart from the rules on this National Holiday to honor our Veterans, past, present and future. God Bless America. God Bless and thank you for your service to our Country and Allies.

On The Wire
Robert W. Service
O God, take the sun from the sky!
It's burning me, scorching me up.
God, can't You hear my cry?
'Water! A poor, little cup!'
It's laughing, the cursed sun!
See how it swells and swells
Fierce as a hundred hells!
God, will it never have done?
It's searing the flesh on my bones;
It's beating with hammers red
My eyeballs into my head;
It's parching my very moans.
See! It's the size of the sky,
And the sky is a torrent of fire,
Foaming on me as I lie
Here on the wire . . . the wire. . . .

Of the thousands that wheeze and hum
Heedlessly over my head,
Why can't a bullet come,
Pierce to my brain instead,
Blacken forever my brain,
Finish forever my pain?
Here in the hellish glare
Why must I suffer so?
Is it God doesn't care?
Is it God doesn't know?
Oh, to be killed outright,
Clean in the clash of the fight!
That is a golden death,
That is a boon; but this . . .
Drawing an anguished breath
Under a hot abyss,
Under a stooping sky
Of seething, sulphurous fire,
Scorching me up as I lie
Here on the wire . . . the wire. . . .

Hasten, O God, Thy night!
Hide from my eyes the sight
Of the body I stare and see
Shattered so hideously.
I can't believe that it's mine.
My body was white and sweet,
Flawless and fair and fine,
Shapely from head to feet;
Oh no, I can never be
The thing of horror I see
Under the rifle fire,
Trussed on the wire . . . the wire. . . .

Of night and of death I dream;
Night that will bring me peace,
Coolness and starry gleam,
Stillness and death's release:
Ages and ages have passed,--
Lo! it is night at last.
Night! but the guns roar out.
Night! but the hosts attack.
Red and yellow and black
Geysers of doom upspout.
Silver and green and red
Star-shells hover and spread.
Yonder off to the right
Fiercely kindles the fight;
Roaring near and more near,
Thundering now in my ear;
Close to me, close . . . Oh, hark!
Someone moans in the dark.
I hear, but I cannot see,
I hear as the rest retire,
Someone is caught like me,
Caught on the wire . . . the wire. . . .

Again the shuddering dawn,
Weird and wicked and wan;
Again, and I've not yet gone.
The man whom I heard is dead.
Now I can understand:
A bullet hole in his head,
A pistol gripped in his hand.
Well, he knew what to do,--
Yes, and now I know too. . . .

Hark the resentful guns!
Oh, how thankful am I
To think my beloved ones
Will never know how I die!
I've suffered more than my share;
I'm shattered beyond repair;
I've fought like a man the fight,
And now I demand the right
(God! how his fingers cling!)
To do without shame this thing.
Good! there's a bullet still;
Now I'm ready to fire;
Blame me, God, if You will,
Here on the wire . . . the wire. . . .

Participating Authors


  1. There are no words, Muffy.

    Thank you for this, thank your family members for their service.

  2. It is sad that man still has to wage war after so many men and women have sacrificed their lives for a few powerful people who cannot negotiate peace to eliminate disputes. Thank you for paying tribute to this man, the other men and women.

  3. Such a poignant poem. God bless those that serve. You gave me goose bumps, Muffy xx

  4. This made me cry, literally. Such a sad piece when a man would rather die. This is such a cold world. I'll be glad when it's all over.

    Much love and respect. xo


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