For those of you in the position I was at the start of the week (i.e. not knowing what concrete poem was), this is the form in which the words have a relationship with the shape they take. In this one, it’s the idea of Hearts and Minds, so often attributed to the military campaign to with the favour of a local population. In this, I’ve tried to subvert that idea and focus on the hearts and minds of the initially the first-time deployed service member, secondly the politicians sending them, and third the returned veteran. The idea was an innocent, idealistic approach first up, drained and sucked up by the smallest, tightest, yet most recognisable (i.e. they literally have to campaign to deliberately be seen as having a heart, their real motivations and intents known only to themselves), and finally, a beaten, misshapen, and knowing variation at the end. It is ultimately separate to the political Heart. The ones with experience enough to have a few knocks around the edges, but having a genuine longing for what is right and true.
Of course, how you interperet this is up to you, and certainly the three Hearts are representative of a small portion of each character type. But I hope you enjoy it however you read it.