Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ National Flag(s)

United Nations members' national flags
(Tom Page, photo)

“When you set a good example to the world, you become a flag 
waving on the skies of the entire world!” 

“Raising the flag and singing the anthem are, while somewhat suspicious, not in themselves acts of treason.” 

Flags are bits of colored cloth used first to shrinkwrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead. - Arundhati Roy

 Midweek Motif ~ National Flag(s)

Flags are beautiful. 
We sing patriotic songs in front of flags. 
I thought I would find many national anthems like that of the USA which glorifies a flag flying in the heat of battle, but my browsing through a List of national anthems brought up very few that even mention the flag. This made me happy. 
Today let's observe flags and see what rises up.
Your Challenge:  Write a new poem about a nation's flag and what it stands for.  Maybe the poem is an Anthem, maybe it is a Pledge of Allegiance.  Maybe it is a hope.  Include a description of the flag in your poem.

Image result for comanche flag
Flags of Native Peoples of the USA

Moon-pale stacks of clavicle a hand
            brushes dust from. I lost a word

that was left to me: sister. The wind
             severs through us—we sit, wait

for songs of nation and loss in neat
            long rows below this leaf-green

flag—its red-stitched circle stains
            us blood-bright blossom, stains

us river-silk—I saw you, sister, standing
            in this brilliance—I saw light sawing

through a broken car window, thistling
            us pink—I saw, sister, your bleeding

head, an unfurling shapla flower
            petaling slow across mute water—
. . . . 

excerpt from Beginning with 1914

Since it always begins
in the unlikeliest place
we start in an obsolete country
on no current map. The camera
glides over flower beds,
for this is a southern climate.
We focus on medals, a horse,
on a white uniform,
for this is June. The young man
waves to the people lining the road,
he lifts a child, he catches
a rose from a wrinkled woman
in a blue kerchief. Then we hear shots
and close in on a casket
draped in the Austrian flag.
Thirty-one days torn off a calendar.
Bombs on Belgrade; then Europe explodes.
We watch the trenches fill with men,
the air with live ammunition.
A close-up of a five-year-old
living on turnips. 
. . . . 
(Read the rest HERE)

O fire, O soul
Give us the spark of God-eternal,
That friend to friend and friend to foe,
One shall we stand before HIM.
And the flame of Jatin,
And the fire of Bhagath,
And the love of the Mahatma in all,
O, lift the flag high,
Lift the flag high,
This is the flag of the Revolution

(Found at DeskGram)

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community.
(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ 
The World is a Beautiful Place.)


  1. Midweek and the pantry doors are open. Happy Wednesday every one.

    much love...

  2. Happy Wednesday everyone! Today is India's 72nd Independence Day. Feeling happy to write about National Flag today. Thank you Susan :)

    1. You guessed the reason for this prompt! Happy self-determination to all!

    2. Happy Independence Day, Sumana.

      Ha, my resolution to write positively lasted one day. LOL. But when I read today's prompt, I just saw the self satisfied grinning faces and crafty eyes.....sigh.

    3. Felicitations on your Independence! (Ours is still to come.)

    4. The penny droppeth....that dark wide eyed sultry beauty is our Sumana.Happy belated Independence Day Sumana!

  3. Oh yikes, I just saw the part about describing the flag......maybe I will add another haiku.

  4. Hello everyone. Think, I have zigged, when I should have zagged, again. Sigh.

    1. Always have your poem opened--and only the one you intend to post--when you choose the address to plug into our form. Being careful to do that will save you lots of errors. You can double check before hitting enter by reading the address and being sure it has the name of your poem in it. Try it. I'll wait before erasing this one.

    2. BTW, I looked through your poems, but could not tell which one you wrote for today.

    3. Grrr...sorry, Susan. Have fixed the link. Therisa1 should be deleted. Am making so many mistakes right now, with this depression.

    4. No problem. Take care of yourself, Therisa. We are happy that you come here with your poetry.

  5. Oh no! I missed the flag description too! A great prompt though😊

  6. A tricky prompt, I though at first, but then it kind of fell into place. Thank you, Susan, for making me think!

    1. I truly struggled with it, too. It took awhile for me to stop suffering and start dreaming!

  7. What wonderful poems you included in this prompt! Sorry everyone, mine is late-ish and long. I am sure it needs further work, but not now.

    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I really had to search for these poems, and then the flags that they describe. I'm pleased with the outcome and the reading this week. Really new work in every way!

  8. Cheers for the excellent prompt Susan - a prompt that made me think.
    I did complete the prompt last night, but decided not to post as responding to others would be a (time) distraction, and I am well into decorating, but so easily distracted.
    However today I decided to post as I just want too! I will visit a few others now, then keep popping back as I take breaks hanging wallpaper.
    Happy Thursday to all.
    Anna :o]

    1. I always check back--until Sunday--so I'm very glad you decided to post your poem! Thank you.


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