Continued from Part 2
The sun-bleached bones of those who smiled are scattered down the lanes
while other souls who crept in fear left bones with yellow stains.
But plaintive tears were never shed, for no one felt the pains.
The castle clocks unwound and stopped! Their peerless speechless spokes
unfurl in black the reigning Night, by spinning off her cloaks
and flaunting stark oblivion, her Baroness evokes.
Green trees went dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now no one minds the voiceless swings or statues made of clay,
though graveyards mute the marbled tombs, where grievers knelt to pray.
The terrors of a conscience fraught, no longer stalk nearby
or rend or rip the curtained clouds, frail fabrics of the sky –
the wraiths of night and sleepless dreams no longer terrify.
And fog no longer creeps beyond the edge of doom’s café,
or if she does, in mourning veils, she frills the cabaret
with sallow shades of dripping tears and sheets of shallow gray.
Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
are lying fallow, barren dust, where living seed once laid
and in the void a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a spade.
A silo, still! With hollow hull, a ravished feather’s vane –
with traces of some spattered blood, once flowing through a vein –
with fruits of all the labour, lost... ’twas truly all in vain.
No souls appear with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
or paint pale lips with languid laughs to pierce the deathly calm –
they vanished quite a while ago, beneath a neutron bomb.
Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
LAID: non-standard usage for past tense of ‘to lie’ (‘lay’)
MOURNING VEILS/MORNING VALES
NEUTRON BOMB: is a nuclear weapon that maximizes damage to life (aka people) but minimizes damage to buildings and equipment and anything of ‘value’.