At Night I think of Pancakes


I hear engines in the night

Shelling the armour

Of my mind

With its empty walls

Buffeted against the tall dark.


These bittersweet hours of pain

Spent in the trenches of my mind,

Where artillery falls untamed

With no regard for human life

As profundity strikes hard.


Surges of creativity.

Straw sculpture atop the table –

Last night’s work accrued.

Triptych still in pieces –

The tanks rolled out with hatred.


Coffee cups and plates

Ranked and filed

Frozen at attention.

After so many deaths

I will know them yet.


Cigarette packets lie bleeding –

Bleeding false promises.

Comforting lies clung to once found,

But the real tragedy buried

In the surrender of reality.


Again, I climb out of bed

As I think about pancakes,

Dust and ribbons of red.

Searching for refuge from

The sorrow of these battles.


The night finally decides

That we’re not worth the bombs –

And retreats from the dawn.

But give me just a few hours

And I will be rested once more.


With ceasefire drawn

My mind slows down.

Battlegrounds silent.

Crows of fatigue circle overhead.

As at last I collapse and fold into bed.


© 2015, Gavin Zanker.

Photo by fedewild licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

2 thoughts on “At Night I think of Pancakes”

    1. I’d say it was the feeling from those late, lonely hours when you write and write but you struggle to like anything that you put on paper. Creativity battling with self-loathing – hence the war theme. Thanks for the comment.

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