Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Echoes of the Gulf (Conscience of War)

 


"An Arab land once a pilgrim part

A Muslim pride now a picture of ruin

Natives acting out what happened to them

Death by the hundreds blood bath in the street

Enslaved as a nation now without a crown-"


squeezing through the crowd of mourners

Trying to find an opening close to the havoc

Relatives and friends trying to restrain me

Eye telling me what I expected to see-


I resisted and they gave way as I approached

Bowing slowly backing away giving me space,

Standing over a carcass making the sign of the cross-

A mother cries out in the street looking at a son she loved

shattered arms and bodies in tartar

suicide bombers terrorist claims-


family homes looks like a funeral parlor

The dead! Yes I have seen it all before

Yes I have watched them before on TV

Burying folks em-mass like 'Rwandan genocide' attack-

Once upon a time in Africa.


Folks couldn't stop crying, hanky in all hands

In contract with the clothing, all in black

Who should it be, that brought up my kin's

Who should it be, that makes mama and papa cry-

A kin run up to me, into my open arms crying

The condolence keep pouring in wordily oration

The stench of the dead of roses and incense

Of my own apprehension setting in

As I go on and on the distance seemed everlasting

Like watching a movie in TV coming out in motion-


A widow bend nearly double with grief

Not yet thirty by the look of her

And by God! A kid straddled on her back

A baby who will never see or call papa-



I can smell an undertaker embalming fluid

He used to preserve the dead, as I walk the street

The pall bearers who brought the coffins

Looks like crows waiting for a carcass

The hundred of candles around the main

The smell of burning tallow

Killing me along with the thought of a dead-



The priest solemn alone with no alter boys

Swinging the censor around the coffin

Clouds of frankincense wafted toward us

And I like all Catholics made the sign of the cross

To a virgin whose son the Arabs hated-



And at the gulf of death here I come at least

And every form jumped right at me

There is no mistaken it

the pictures in my line of sight

The corpses look at me accusing me-



And then I woke up out of my own sweat

Back home safe and well

But the nightmare I know will continue

The spirit of the dead will always be in my conscience-



The only solitude will be to write about it

It is a writers craft to tell from art

Bringing the wounded world into our rooms

And invoke the conscience of the nations in time of war.



"Within the gulf the valley of death

Into an art so pure in truth

I wrote of what o poet saw

reenacting classic battles like on TV

A carnage so complete.

Amen to the freedom fighters

Alleluia -alleluia''

PART TWO

'here a soldier lend a voice'
With pride I enlisted with the army

Thought I was all like in the movie

With haircuts and orderliness

And a change away from civilian clothes-



Like barking dogs with human faces

They gave orders herding us like cattle

Sent to my battalion to battle a nation

Coz once a soldier you own yourself no more-



With such bitterness I thought about home

Folks uneasy about shielding a deserter

Cradled in the noise of their barking

The trail was hot in the Arab land-



Obscenely desperate for the enemy flesh

Never having enough men in my rifle sight

Into the carnage of the gulf I faced the terrorist

Rooting with terror I found they were men like me-



All limbs jittery, snout deep in water logged trench

Embraced by the squalid ramble of the battle field

A dozen or more corpses are on the anal tip of a crater

The khaki uniform stained with my own blood and urine-



Both factions, lying dead in chump and rows

Others were still screaming in horrible reality

Some without legs and arms, barely alive

All sinews ashen and splintered, shattered on the battlefield-



Yet herding the cattle, Barking at us, our leaders shouted

Go get the terrorist! Go get the terrorist!

Whiles soldiers were being blown or shot to pieces

falling like autumn fruits- Posted by Picasa

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