A poem by Robert Bell.
When the roof of the sky was lifted,
And the house of Earth was purged,
I sat in my solar-plexus
Centred on a point, which shifted
Wherever my mind played.
Like a wind and a fire in a storm,
Where roads of ruin were laid,
And murder made the norm.
Children were raped by a doctrine,
Evil was willed and made,
The hooks were laid on the line.
The dice was thrown, the mines planted;
Fear was sown, and displayed
Pale flowers of death and ruin,
Streaked with blood and rain.
All the believers chanted,
Heads raised to the skies,
Bribing god with false praises
While slaughtering their enemies.
I watched on my television,
The always edited version;
One eye closed, one open,
Blind to the missing vision
Where cameras fail to reach,
And the throat’s cut that would speak
I fall through empty thoughts,
Seeing only the race
Of war as a competition
Without a starting place
Without weapons and armor and forts,
Where the first smile leaves the face,
Where the hearth fire is unlit,
Where the children flee the school,
Where the wells are poisoned with shit;
Where words are crafted to fool,
And all the gates are shut
My tongue was caught in the window,
Opening no door, or path.
Hoping in faith
The mind play its play,
Some change of script hatched
Where the actors revolt,
The script thrown away
And evil dispatched
Back to the shadow
Where waits the soldier
Wanting their part
In a battles disorder.
Where the enemy wait
At the fleshy gate
In the eyes of their neighbour.
My mind watched and played,
As the body defected,
When the real war raged.
None of the leaders knew themselves elected;
None of the warriors had their arms displayed.
They came for them in the cold morning;
All their minds sheathed in their blades,
All their blades sheathed in their minds.
There were no Kings by these directed,
There were no mourners by their graves —
There were no graves and there were no mourners;
Oh, but there were flowers enough,
Despite the drought of human ideas;
Blood was the water for these cut flowers.
© Robert Bell 2017