Archive for November 16th, 2021

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Nursery Rhyme by Leo Hamalian

I am the shell that awaits the word.

I am the gun that fires the shell
That shocks the solid flesh so well.

I am the hand that pulls the cord
(Now more potent than the sword)
When that certain word is roared.

I am the voice that roars the word
That touches off the deadly bird
When ordered by the one who’s heard
From those who say it’s time to gird.

I am the one who teaches to read
Those who spread the ancient creed
To aid the ones who feed the need
Of the hand that’s forced to heed
The word that fathers forth the deed.

I am the one who works the drill,
Who tills the soil, who takes his pill,
Who backs with tax the shell he makes
To feed the hand of him who takes
The word that comes from certain men
Who give the word to fire when.

Who is the one who gives the word
To lift aloft the deadly bird?

I am the one behind the shell.

From: Bartel, Roland and Grandberry, Diana, ‘The Power of Brevity in War Poetry’ in The English Journal, September 1997, Volume 86, Number 5, pp. 72-75.

Date: 1989

By: Leo Hamalian (1920-2003)