Etched in Stone

NY Zouave Monument, Bull Run Battlefield (April 22, 1990)

In 1991, I wrote a short story that took until 2005 to get published, in Apollo’s Lyre (now defunct; here’s my meager-yet-humble list of credits, listing its publication), Nov 2005. It was about a displaced Civil War soldier’s spirit and involved cemeteries, the pissed-off dead, and the Second Battle of Bull Run (aka Second Manassas, to the South, fought August 28-30, 1862). Here are some monument images. I was inspired by visiting the Bull Run battlefields, in Manassas, Virginia. I’ve since been there three times, but it was that first time that was my own personal Twilight Zone experience. I’ve written about this experience once, before, on my website. What happened besides my childhood experiences was that the very first time I ever set foot on Bull Run battlefield soil, was that I immediately felt “torn in time.” I literally felt as if I were in two places at one time: one foot in the 1990-present, and the other in 1862. And it persisted the entire time I visited the battlefield. It wasn’t subtle, or “am I really feeling this?” kinda thing. It was powerful, creepy, and physically electrifying. Life jarring.

I knew I’d been here before, and not as a visitor to a battlefield memorial.

And in my visit there, I stopped by a small plot of gravestones. So, that cemetery plot, coupled with my Twilight Zone experience of literally feeling displaced in time and space, gave rise (pardon the pun…) to the story I wrote. Within that story I’d written “displaced” stanzas of a prose poem recited by the battlefield dead coming after my displaced soldier’s spirit. I’ve compiled them below, and worked on a more coherent, completed version.

I hope you don’t sleep well after reading it.

 

Etched in stone

Etched in stone…

Take your place

among the bone.

 

Etched in stone

Is writ the tome

To one whose life

Has left the bone.

 

To one who fought

To one who fled…

To one who denies

His place among the dead.

 

They call you back

You never go far

The grave of yours

Is the grave of all.

 

You try to run

You try to roam

But you must always, always

Always come home.

 

Etched in stone

Back with bone

Home is home

And bone is bone.

 

Etched in stone

Etched in stone

Take your place

among the bone.

 

Etched in stone

Etched in stone

Back to bone

You find yer home.

 

Etched in stone

Etched in stone…

Take your place among the bone.

© 1991/2012

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About fpdorchak

Paranormal fiction author.
This entry was posted in Spooky, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Etched in Stone

  1. Samir says:

    14 years… that took some perseverance! Well done 😉

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  3. Wendy Brydge says:

    This was wonderful, Frank. Your eerie poem and the great photo… very, very nice.

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