1. MORNING HAS BROKEN
The men, in lines, tramp two by two (forgetting all the women who,
Preparing for a night of tricks, were painted with their flaming sticks)
And think about the time ahead when they’ll be gone, their bodies dead
(Some rotting slow, some mummified) though once they were their mummy’s pride.
Attired bright in uniforms, they’ve strewn their bombs in desert storms -
Like melting sands, the sky deforms with darkness, death - and doomsday swarms
Through ravished lands where fires warm the corpses, cold and puriform.
Their eyes flash forward towards the backs of lucky ones who’ll have the knack
Of never being in the way of bursts of bullets as they stray
(Effacing phantoms faraway) but live to die another day.
They’re wishing for a foggy morn or best of all to be unborn,
And peering down to mark the sway of wings in webs while spiders prey,
They wonder when their time will come and they can stop their fleeing from
The sights they’ve seen, the deeds they’ve done, the life they’ve lost, the death they’ve won,
Then muse a while upon the child they killed one day when they went wild,
And when they’re finally reconciled with broken bodies stacked and piled,
They ponder, did she have a kin to curse them for their burning sin?
And if she did, would god reply with tooth for tooth and eye for eye?
Or would her clan be mild and meek and simply turn the other cheek?
2. MIDDAY MUSINGS
They’re counting steps to pass the time and puzzle if they’ll reach their prime
Or if instead they’ll serve the worm their carnal flesh and aching sperm
When soon, perhaps, they sleep in berth provided by the chilling earth,
And fret about the fate they’ll find below the stones that slowly grind.
And once or twice will come to mind a sultry smile they left behind
(The distant past - a tepid trace - another time, another place),
Reflected in a death grimace that paints a frightened withered face.
And on they trudge through guilt and gloom to track their own and other’s doom
And soon they’ll paint another pool with blood of other beings who’ll
Inhale no more the evening airs, unlike the wily Functionaires
Who brutalize the fighting men and send them far away and then
(Relaxed, unwound, with victories made) confer with sword an accolade
On those who’ve lopped bowed heads, with blade, while someone bent must turn a spade
To hack a hole which then is filled with all the cloven bodies killed
And cloaked with clay or loamy dirt, as if to hide the pain and hurt.
Continued in Part 2