Posts Tagged ‘War’

I was conscripted,
Forced into these daylight trenches,
By a dice roll,
Snake eyes,
Fighting tooth and nail every year,
Ill-equipped,
Each turn of the sun another foe beaten,
Another hill won with blood,
My standard grows ever more grey,
A tired old veteran in the works,
And once the war is finally over,
I shall take the skeletal hand of the dark,
Like an old comrade,
And finally rest in calm halls.

Do the skies suck away compassion?
Because I see aviators without humanity,
Bomber crews without hearts,
Execrable souls within an iron demon,
Screeching along the zephyrs,
Where even angels fear to follow,

Does the pilot care for those his bombs flatten?
The lands rent by his payload?
I daresay not,
They simply cheer in patriotic tones,
Smirks underneath aviator caps,
Careless of the mushroom cloud in their wake,

They return to their air base sancerre,
And toast to the screams.


A continuation of ‘Hedge Knight‘.

The battle lines were down,
Like an assassins dirk across a map,
A knife through butter,
A plague through a nation,
Somewhere Death was atop a pale courser,
Waiting for his ravens harvest,

The tyrant versus the monarch,
Bloody upheaval versus the status quo,
Two hosts of armoured termites,
Spear and lance and blade,
Village pitted against fellow village,
Serfdom meat shields,

A yelled command,
And the storm of blood and iron began,
Armies collided and spilled crimson,
Mars drank deep that day,
Amidst the sea of levied corpses,
A monarchs and a tyrants eyes met,

Time stopped.

Upon this rat-eaten bed I lay my bed,
A mud and barbed wire hovel,
After a long days bloodletting,
The trenches lay heavy with shrapnel and refuse,
Day and light hard to distinguish in the smog,
Bodies alive and not beside one another as brethren,

Rat-a-tat-a-tat,

I carry a small memorial,
The image on this grey photograph feels like an illusion,
A place from a distant fuction,
A home no longer real,
The face has grown indistinct,
The name Elizabeth means nothing to me,

Rat-a-tat-a-tat,

Aside from the distant thumps of artillery,
The only aid to sleep I have is a lullaby of machine-guns,
Repetitive ringing in my head,
Rhythmic melodies of death sent aloft,
In to foreign mens hearts,
A different form of sleep,

Rat-a-tat-a-tat,

I close my eyes,
The gunfire amalgamates with the stench,
A militaristic sedative,
Yet sleep conducts a tactical retreat,
The war goes on,
And the machine-gun continues to sing.

I see him,
In cast-iron visage,
A harbinger of arms dealer joy,
Illuminated in the brimstone of industry,
Lighting up a cuban next to sea mines,
Counting rounds as if an attentive sire,
A self-appointed god of war,
Bestowing energetic gifts of abhorrent blitz,
To all of the unlucky boys and girls,

He visits foreign agoras,
Grinning with teeth of bullets,
He’s extant behind every shell-shocked orphans eyes,
As they grieve for yesterday’s barrage,
Slumped upon sun-scarred plains,
Torn and battered by winds of heavy calibre shells,
Despite this carnage his friends cheer him on,
There is profit to be made,
But first comes the war,

For the bliss of it all.

Many lands believe might makes right,
And bestow this belief on the foreign poor,
A show of force,
A frank display of arrogance,
Replacing ancient tenets with roads,
Inflicting new flags on old traditions,

With heretofore never seen weaponry,
Science turned to warfare,
Behemoths of timber and black powder,
Lines of steel and ruby uniform,
All lands become part of a gold rush,
Power used to justify itself,

Large swathes of the world under one creed,
But a creed benefitting very few,
Vampires in wigs of affluence cheer,
Raising goblets of exotic blood,
To chalk and sands stained in red,
Conquest being its own reward.

It has come to this,
This dramatic crescendo of the days violence,
Surrounded by snow and foes aplenty,
A hinterland field of carnage,
Only a sole pair of warriors are here,
Isolated from the regiment,
Husband and wife,

Back to back,
Iron support betwixt now as ever,
One nocking a bow of artemis,
The other brandishing a weary excalibur,
Black blood and sweat already a deluge down their cuirasses,
A legion of enemies already cut down,
This havoc was a lovers last dance,

They were a stalwart couple,
They stood together through betrayals,
Held each other through childbirth,
And a funeral too soon,
These conscript lovers would hold fast,
Even if the end came this day,
It will be as eloping in their spring years.

Atop his scarred mare,
Beside his beleaguered comrades,
Hussar and dragoon and cuirassier,
The lancer wipes muck from his uniform azure,
Harvest of a cold morning scrap,
Barely a mile taken,
A score of lives paid,

And the general sips his wine,

A reluctant warrior,
A soldier true and father twice,
Thrall to the kings coin,
Yet the battery fire recommences,
And the order to charge is given,
A L’attaque!
The flagging lancer blasts ahead,

And the general sips his wine,

Shrapnel and flesh collide all around his advance,
The lancer picks out his mark,
The grist for his lance,
Akin to a Romeo delivering his final romantic plea,
Direct to the foes heart,
Inspecting his handiwork he saw his victim to be no more than fourteen summers,
Somewhere a mother wails,

And the general sips yet more wine.

Amidst the battery fire and shrapnel,
Ripostes and mud and barbed wire,
Warfare is glorious,
A vehement symphony of iron and gore,
Triumphant charges and resounding firing lines,
Dark clouds braiding with sulphur,
Nations forms are in flux,

You are a soldier,
Thrust your bayonet into that opposing commoner,
To increase your masters demesne by inches,
For those men who sip wine in silken tents,
In elite safety,
For those whom paint borders,
Your blood and your opponents the currency for miles,

There is no grandeur to be found here,
For the common man it is naught but hell,
A charnel house,
And yet for your flag you enlist,
Fire your salvo into that poor mans flank,
Fight for your valour,
Your thanks shall be as dirt upon your casket,

A most ancient con job,
There is no glory in war.

A continuation of sorts of ‘Kabuto’.

Kneeling by myself,
I meditate in the morning rays,
The scent of last nights sake still on my lips,
Glancing to the floor before me,
I sight my trusty blade coated,
Each blood drip whispered of victory,

Strewn around me eviscerated are demons,
Negative oni,
They beset me in the twilight,
With claw and cynical words,
Unaware of my training,
I follow bushido now,

My new virtues are my strength,
And my katana follows suit,
Loyalty fell duplicity,
Honesty decapitated corruption,
Compassion cut down cruelty,
Courage disemboweled anxiety,

Once the deed was done,
I reflected upon my newfound ethics,
My positive armour and virtuous kenjutsu,
Evil will no longer bring me to my knees,
I’m a warrior now,
A samurai.