First you march through fields--
Green, but choked with weeds.
Until one day chance drops the Bomb
And the world explodes before your eyes.
Never have radar eyes seen beauty
Like this, the fire lily in spring,
Pyrotechnics bursting forth from petals
And the sweet napalm nectar heart.
Tender small hands
Softer than pillows of snow--
Look with adoring eyes, but never touch.
Such miracles are easily shattered.
Next you must be silent, soldier
on through sun and sleet.
Look on with a distance at her still.
Sip vineyard wines and lob grenade glances
As the summer’s smirking captain burns her,
And she is dying of a most miserable thirst.
But I have no water left in my canteen…
Lost, but such a thing gained
From naval expeditions into the murky brown twin pools
That shimmer like umber ghosts in the raining moonshine.
But leave before sunrise—the place is forbidden
For men of such stature, of such a character.
Step aside for the hulking boars,
Who will pluck each of her lovely petals
One by one, and stamp them dead in dirt.
Then be still, self-appointed guardian.
Polish off those beers and brood.
But be ever alert should she call.
If the invasion comes, the only gun
She may have to kill is you.
Accompany her on breezy walks
Attempt to humor, but disclose no more.
Simply hang in gardens of babble on and on
Where the only words you speak are Sanskrit to her.
And when the cavalries of autumn winds pillage through,
She will have nothing to shield her from the beatings.
So close, I am still too far away, and would give away
my position out in the open.
Remember the gentle beauty, her voice.
Every laugh, every lethal saltwater tear,
Every moment you would kneel beside her
And be more tender than Mother Nature herself.
But at last when winter comes you make the choice
For she needs a man to keep her warm
The night grows cold, the stars smile sinister
the field is buried in the blackness of time,
that awful plague without a cure.
You may dream to storm the frosty beaches
And pluck her from her very roots;
Take her off her feet, in hopes
Of saving her, the only fire lily in the field.
But with a frown, she bows her head
Turns away, withers and dies.
The fire lily in spring, there smolders
In cigarette ashes.
So you stay under cover, and leave the field,
Afraid to turn and look again.
For time has worked hard for months
Building the atomic bomb
That verges on exploding in your heart.