Red clay, white painted church, and shape notes
eight children with a war in between
crimson blood on the ground with
a mini-ball piercing flesh and bone.
An arm no good for farming, but a voice
hearty for singing harmony.
in songs that shaped a nation with
robust alleluias and melodies,
as haunting the battle fields which
were filled with husbands,
brothers and sons, with neighbors
friends and strangers who in the night
sang to each other from opposing campfires.
In the blackness, as disembodied voices
floating across the silent, bloody fields.
Songs that they took with them to the war
came home with some, or stayed
as melody in a meadow for
those who sang no more,
For those who found rest in the green fields
that had become a red washed theater
for conflict and fallen comrades.
The” fasola” harmony rang discordant with war.
Songs of the everlasting and the eternal,
while the temporal came in rifle shots
and canon blasts and fires that leveled cities,
ripping arms, limbs and families forever.
Red clay and crimson flood from the
blood of soldiers and the Lamb.
Melancholy music sung as community,
strengthening those who sang in accord
to still the cacophony of battle
and sweeten life with the soil,
mending the view from behind the plow.
Elizabeth Buttimer, an entrepreneur, a manufacturer and former educator, she received her Ph.D. from Georgia State University and her M.S.C. and B.A. degrees from Auburn University.