Road to War
Blown by one swift wind they march
green and brown weighed down
by dust. They tumble, starched,
like deadened leaves, crumbling
with each step, rusting
in the heat of the desert sun.
Their hands clench in unity, bursting
pupils drown their misery or is it
misery? The sun is warm.
Left – left – left right left.
See new things, visit exotic places.
The bombs are going off.
That wasn’t your car, was it?
My eyes scan – kernels of sand
green, brown, weighed down
by blood. Each hue seeps into the land
becoming one. Prickly bushes – light
upon a drop of dew. Close to my side
my wrist flicks back and forth
stroke here, stroke there -
sepia, amber, gold, pear.
The woody scent of rafters,
the arid air, the taste
of paint upon the retinas
of my emerald eyes.
Each body around me, five
of us. Their faces shine
with the sweat of heroics.
In each window I spy
their exhilaration expanding.
My heart is thrilled.
Our pupils are expanding.
We are blinded by the burning of the sun.
Each brow is weighted down by dust.
Each hand is white from clenching.
My feet sting with all our trekking.
Sharp rocks dig into our soles.
The man next to me is twitching his wrists.
No doubt his limbs are shaking from dehydration.
A simple p***k, a pinch of pain, a smile and a grin.
I slip the tube along the vein and glide the needle in.
All is well. Her mother thanks the Mighty God.
God didn’t fix her, I did. God is gone.
The four around me are silent in their sweat.
To talk would bring exhaustion.
No doubt each of us is tired.
I want to go home. This place is death.
The air reeks of it. The blood stains the ground.
The sand is in desperate need of bleach.
Each breath comes in a gasp
of surprise, deep and echoing. A well
of thought drains back
into the eyes. Each man beside me
drinks his fill of the world.
My hands itch in their clenched positions,
desperate for pen and paper. Sunlight
scalds like dragon fire and burns my cheekbones red.
Silence is met by pencil’s scratching.
Words dance across the surface of the page.
The woody scent of pressed paper bleeds
into the fire of candle light and ink.
My fists tingle with the footsteps of fire
fairies across my skin. So hot it’s cold.
Before us five prances an experience
like no other. We are the lucky ones.
Beneath the views of the others I write.
The sun is burning memories in my brain.
The sun is high and I wonder whether the fish
would skate beneath the surface to taste
the mosquitoes, fresh from their birthing.
A taste of the briefest freedom.
The light would catch their scales, attract
their aerial predators. I shift my
gun so my helmet shades it. The tubal
weight is not so different from my pole.
The flesh is tender, pink. I rip it.
I pierce it with the metal hook.
Salt collects within my nostrils
and stings with death.
Together we huddle like a school and
we wait for the sharks to find us.
One man twitches like a fish pulled
from the sea. One man mutters, a toad
upon the lily. Another scratches at the pad,
his pen the water bug across the surface;
Each one is prey for the sniper’s hawk-eye.
Their sights flicker towards the fifth
man, whose form has stiffened
in the sun. His finger hovers
over the trigger of his ebon-
Our commander tenses like a taut line.
Our commander freezes in time.
Our commander stills.
Our commander stills as if posing.
The commander falls down bleeding.
The commander is dead before he hits Earth.
The tactics technician sighs
in relief. Finally the numbers
The wind has changed, leaves
have scattered. Pellets rain
down from the sky, tumbling chaos across
them. Green and brown are weighed
with lead and Paint the road to War with red.
- Title: Road to War
- Artist: CeNedra_Elessedil
I wrote this for my British Literature class in the style of Modern poetry. Some of the things that are seen in Modern style is multiple perspectives and references to memory. They are meant to be someone confusing. Stream of consciousness is also a Modern tool.
This poem is about five soldiers in Iraq traveling down a road. You should be able to understand what happens.
- Date: 06/14/2010
- Tags: road
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