No More Heroes

8 Mar

There are no more

Hectors and Achilles

In the limb-strewn mess

of bomb-struck cities.


Death came quickly

in the glorious classics,

no shattered men screaming….

groaning…. sobbing for hours.


The post war lives

of limb deducted cripples

never featured, in Homer,



The motto: I kill more man I am more man;

a simple equation for a time

philosophical, toga-clad, collonaded,

yet brutal.



27 Responses to “No More Heroes”

  1. slpmartin at 7:27 pm #

    Your poem reminded me of how in early movies about war…it was always glorified in some propagandistic way…so little boys wanted to growup to be brave little soilders…how things have changed….good poem on the subject.

  2. ocksblog at 7:42 pm #


    Yes, I myself, like most boys, loved the idea of war and fighting, and weapons like swords and axes. Eventually I think it was certain historical novels I read as a young teenager that began to make me realise that actually killing a person with a sword isn’t a quick, clean process like it appears in many films.
    Likewise with guns, bombs etc.

    War really is terrible

  3. Tanya at 9:06 am #

    It’s funny what you guys discover in this poem. I, as a woman, am more interested in the post-war limb deducted cripples. Keep up the good work!

    • ocksblog at 10:47 am #

      thanks for the comment!
      I often think male and female perspectives always seem to differ in subtly telling ways.

      I wasn’t sure about using the word cripple. I’m still not sure. It’s definitely not politically correct to use these days, but it carries a violent shock factor I felt was necessary.

  4. Tanya at 10:52 am #

    Poetry is not political talk. You know that language is nothing on its own, without what we invest in it. So, don’t worry. I’m more worried about the word “brutal”. Do you really need it? Dunno… Who am I to say 🙂

    • ocksblog at 11:08 am #

      very true,

      I suppose poetry plays by different rules to other writing/speech!

  5. Narnie at 12:57 pm #

    Poetry is at its best and most traditional when it speaks of politics and current affairs. The passion and belief brings a timeprint of what was important in a classical way that newspapers can’t begin to aspire to. I think your words here are strong, intelligent and the font play adds to the mood subtley. Nice to meet you ocksblog. 🙂

    • ocksblog at 5:57 pm #

      thanks for the comment 🙂

      I see where you are coming from on the idea of poetry being concerned with politics. I think I will take the middle ground and say poetry can be political or non-political like all art.
      Some people believe art is for art’s sake, others say it should serve a purpose. I think a bit of both is fine!

  6. Ji at 9:45 pm #

    cool topic,
    beautiful writing!

    • ocksblog at 5:58 pm #

      thankyou Ji, I will pay your site a visit!

  7. Janine at 6:18 pm #

    I have to agree with Tanya… The “limb deducted cripples” is what resonated with me the most. Perhaps because when the war is over, the forever-altered survivors are the ones left behind. When the blood has been washed from the streets and the sound of gunfire has faded, the human reminder is everywhere.

    • ocksblog at 2:24 pm #

      definitely, the scars of war remain for lifetimes, and sometimes even longer.

  8. chucky0629 at 7:03 am #

    OK, I’ve browsed through your work a bit and like it. I became aware of your site through a forums message (I think that’s what it was). This comment is not so much about your poetry as the methodology to all this. I’ve been on the site for several months now and get a decent hit rate (about 100 views per month – who’s viewing is completely unknown to me) – I treat this site as a website (page) but some of my stuff is archived as postings. Despite the activity (close to 1,000 visits) I’ve had only 2 comments, whereas I see several for each of your postings (I’m on another site as well and get many comments on each of my postings there) All this suggests I’m not plugged in properly. The Q&A has been no help (no decent instructions on the issue) and I just can’t get plugged into the forums to make headway there. Any hints on how to get things moving along… I don’t mind the inactivity of my ‘website’ here – I do get readers after all, but no feedback from internal readers. Just point me in the right direction and I’ll take it from there… my site, BTW is

    • ocksblog at 11:25 am #

      hello Chucky, I have replied in some detail to this message on your page.

      I hope you get some luck boosting your comments – it certainly feels good to get a little feedback for your work!

  9. ejalvey at 4:42 pm #

    Nice one. I like the language you used. Language in poetry–word choice is the paint on the canvas, with the purpose and message of the poem in mind, shock away. It is the word choice that creates evocative imagery in poetry (I guess might be a better way to say it.)

    • ocksblog at 9:18 pm #


      yep, language is my favourite

      I can genuinely amuse myself reading the dictionary. Actually, I have a dictionary of slang too, which is more fun 😉

      • ejalvey at 10:12 pm #

        I love dictionaries. I have one of ancient Latin slang. How fun is that?

      • ocksblog at 4:00 pm #

        fun, but I bet you don’t get much use out of it 😉

      • ejalvey at 10:18 pm #

        Only when I go back in time and am in Rome.

      • ocksblog at 3:18 pm #


        fairly infrequent then

      • ejalvey at 4:24 am #

        Well, can’t usually make it more than twice a year. Care to join me next time?

      • ocksblog at 10:29 pm #

        I would definitely be up for that (if it was actually possible of course.)

        I have thought about where I would go if I had a time travel machine before, and ancient Rome at the height of its power is top of the list. Then probably Elizabethan London in second. For your information.

  10. Ji at 1:55 pm #

    how are you?
    Happy Monday!
    awards for you.

  11. veritasxlogos at 4:03 pm #

    Mmm… Where is the place of classic virtues in a world torn between religious mercy and political realism. You treat a delicate subject well, neither praising nor revolting in the ancients. In all their “brutal” warfare there was an honor to their opponent, and themselves. The concept of Hero plays a lot here. Spartan come home with your shield or on it.

    Interesting work. I like it when poetry doesn’t shy from the political or philosophic. Keep up the good work.

    • ocksblog at 10:32 pm #


      Funnily enough I’m not entirely sure I quite expressed what I was wanting to say, I kind of got sidetracked down a different path to what I had planned, but I am glad the end result still resonates with people

  12. hootoo22 at 4:33 pm #

    Not my favourite of yours as the poem takes a more philosophical approach, stepping outside of a situation – I like to read the philosophy IN a situation. Also, there are plenty of ‘Achilles’ in a world like today! I do like the penultimate line though, it is well conceived and laid out.


    • ocksblog at 2:56 pm #

      thanks for reading and for the thoughtful feedback

      I take your point about there being modern Achilles (I don’t know what the plural of Achilles should be – this bugged me when I wrote the poem!).
      I didn’t quite get across what I wanted to say in this poem – it was going to be about modern war, but I never quite said what I had in mind. Got distracted I think!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: