Terra Cotta


Lined up for battle
along concrete ridges
meant to entomb them
waiting for the emperor

they finally survey fields
shimmering with shards
bled by shattered brothers
broken in holy service
against weedy abandon

never suspecting that
this would be the end
exposed to their foes
of wind and water intent
on turning them back

into the clay they come from.

NaPoWriMo #2

*Over spring break my family visited a new arboretum that is landscaping the grounds of an old nursery with planting beds and greenhouse foundations resembling Pompeiian archaeological digs. Combining this view of the old ruins with a recent PBS special I watched about the Terra Cotta warriors seemed a natural alliance.

I’m writing a poem every day in April as part of NaPoWriMo’s celebration of National Poetry Month. Won’t you join me in poetry?

8 thoughts on “Terra Cotta

  1. What a different yet wonderful combination of the old nursery and terra cotta warriors and an absolutely perfect photo and poem pairing! You may have outdone yourself already on the second day.

  2. Shirah

    Wonderful image – and imagery, beautiful poetry combining the two elements and bringing it all to life. It’s a gift on a dark, rainy day.

  3. “…bled by shattered brothers/broken in holy service…”

    Remarkable wording. The metaphor is profound. There is an organic quality to this that I think is amazing: image, word choice, thought — plus the strong marching cadence in the rythym of the words. Everything about this is concentrated into a oneness that is very compelling.

    You said you were rusty. I don’t think so.

    Thanks for this.


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