Literature Poetry

The Teutoburg Forest

The crimson column slithers through the dark woods,

Courage, strength, and power the standard

For these soon to be terrified and dying men.

They only need to touch the scraggly bark of the trees

To hear the forest crying out its dire warning,

“Sie sind alle nicht alleine!”1

 

Not even the dark-haired giants that roam this land

With bare chests and screeching war cries,

Can hear the pleas of this shadowed forest.

Nobody knows that the earth cares nothing

for war, for swords, for blood, or murder,

but instead cares only for life.

 

The pouring rain hides and silences the forest’s many mouths,

the booming thunder drowns the warning cries.

The branches wave frantically in the wind,

begging the doomed men in crimson to turn back.

But the legions march bravely on,

to where the dark-haired giants wait.

 

“I’ve found a spot beneath a tree to await my death.

We nearly broke out before they pushed us back,

the Warriors of Pluto dancing with us in the mud and

deciding our fate for us.

I don’t know if it’s me or the forest,

but the world trembles.”

 

Far from here, in marbled Rome, the city walls will soon shake.

“Vare, legiones redde!”2 the Emperor will lament.

He screams for his legions that will never return.

Instead, they lie here, buried in mud, and blood, and filth

with their royal commander.

And his imperial vanity.

 

The storm has passed but water still falls from the leaves,

A constant drip that falls onto crimson cloaks and bare chests alike.

The forest is weeping for these stupid creatures

These animals who kill each other for nothing,

Like a snake consuming itself

Simply to have something to eat.

 

  1. German – “You all are not alone!”   2. Latin – “Varus, give me back my legions!”

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This is a little poem I wrote about the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. I’m not much of a poet (I prefer short stories or novels) but this was an assignment and I actually kind of liked it. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

Thank you!

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