Posts Tagged ‘Warfare’

I once met an anguished veteran,
A bombardier,
Crying as he discarded his medals,
He adored his flag,
And loved to fly just as much,
O’er mountain and border,
Turboprop and piston and jets,
But the air is the realm of war as well as cherubs,
They abused his aeronautical love,

He grew tired of painting red upon maps,
Weary of scorching the edges of the parchment,
Dropping bombs for powerful men,
Craters where lives once flourished,
The guilt overtook his pride over the years,
Aircraft were no more iron angels,
But dragons with dread munitions,
So he dropped those platinum medals,
As he once expelled hell from the sky.

I fear that masses are being castigated,
For the vices of a single man,
A fine line lies betwixt leaders and despots,
Power can be reaped dishonestly,
And often is,
Then wielded against citizenry and neighbour alike,

The people are not their nations sins,
Nor its aggression,
The people do not crave bloodshed,
Even soldiers rarely wish to kill,
They too cry as bombs drop over borders,
Not a KGB smile to be seen,

So before labelling them marauders,
Devils in human guise,
Just remember,
We the people,
They the people,
All are people.

This world is split into petty fiefdoms,
Swathes of land divided haphazardly,
Lines painted in blood and oil,
An unnatural barrier with great sway,
With the common folk cut betwixt masters,
Made unwilling foes,
A race split into us and them,
Fighting wars over borders pencilled in by dead men,

As they laugh in their coffins,
Already bedded with their winnings,
These lines,
Their artistic carving of dirt,
Impels us to be unwitting conscripts,
Speaking in munitions rather than parlance,
Trading antagonisms as readily as grain,
Dividing us ever further.

To those of us about to die,
To each patriot and scallywag among our number,
To the men sailing for King and country,
Fair winds and following seas,

To those lads about to be run through,
The bodies soon to be broken and burned,
The men butchered by shrapnel and cannon,
Fair winds and following seas,

To those mothers and widows-to-be,
The saints left on home soil,
Those with newly cold beds,
Fair winds and following seas,

To those who’ll survive though mangled,
Cursed with phantom limbs and shellshock,
To the victims whose minds are now ravaged,
Fair winds and following seas,

To those names laid in granite before me,
To those lads who have earned a final rest,
Now upon clouds or burning in flames,
Fair winds and following seas.

The symphony commences,
As the sky grows dark,
Metallic warnings in the air,
Cacophonous and shrill,
Like lost souls lamenting the plight of the living,
From their vantage points,
Those sirens have seen the approaching flags,
Riding upon rockets and helicopter blades,
Their hymn warns of fire and brimstone,
Depleted uranium fireworks,
This is no party tune,
But the raucous dirge of a nation.

Among those fearsome boreal raiders,
When a warrior falls,
Respects must be paid,
For a warrior to rest easy,
Like a toll to the reaper,
A gift to the hereafter,
Like any legendary fighter has a moniker,
A warriors sword too has a name,
A hero in its own right,
And like any partner would hope for,
It was interred beside him,
The warriors sword was bent double,
Granted a warriors death itself,
And covered in the same graveyard dirt,
To lay still in the same valhalla.

I find myself too close to the frontline,
A contest between two flags,
I see flames encroaching on the horizon,
The heat grins upon my cheeks,
Scalding like impending doom,
These highlands are a no-go zone,
A board game too close to a fireplace,
The stage of a ruinous romp,
The two flags converse here in mushroom clouds,
Talking points at destructive decibels,
Airstrike arguments,
And howitzer handshakes,

I dare not linger,
These men in high castles care not for the little guy,
They propel uranium darts at this wasteland board,
Collateral damage upon their tongues,
Before kissing above the carnage they wrought.

Death haunts the depths,
A manmade shark,
A machine of war fathoms down,
In the cold below,
It is on the trail of prey,
A cyclopean eye guiding the way,
Stalking those unaware seals of steel above,
Merchant ship or frigate,
Following the reverberations of their iron lungs,
The word is given,
Doom is silently unleashed at knots,
And once the hunt is over,
And the prey is scrap metal,
Fade like orcas into the dark.

This battle has ground on too long,
Our leaden provisions are loaded,
A thousand metal hailstones,
Placed carefully into our artifice of death,
Our own mouth of hell,

The power I have at hand is grimly palpable,
I need only turn this crank,
And hundreds of lives will end in gore,
Rotate sight and fire,
They told me there was honour in battle,

The order is given,
It’s us or them,
Rotate sight and fire,
Our engine of death rattles in rage,
Cutting down uniforms like chaff,

Despite the hellfire,
I feel cold,
There is no honour in this,
Warfare has become manufacture,
Rotate sight and fire.

Under thundery skies of white,
Came the rumble of tracks,
And the boom of gunnery,
A boreal front is rent open,
An iron cross enclosing upon an eastern jugular,
Hammer and sickle on the backfoot,
Surrender was no option,
And so flesh was ground against iron,
The blitzkrieg was on,

Two flags spiral around each other in dispute,
Cities and fields become their shrapnel market,
Lives were the currency paid in full,
But both fate and snow had other ideas,
The winter came to its sons aid,
Freezing fuel and choking soldiers in grey,
Another weapon against the iron cross,
Like the little emperor before,
This evil could not weather the winterstorm.