It’s not enough to sit in the quiet of night and conjure peace,
for it’s in moments of furious hatred
We need the noise to cease.
When the steel or the Bludgeon fills the Hand,
and the defences are all but breached
when the lines are crossed we drew in the sand
When the end of Civility’s Reached
It’s not enough to withdraw and Blame War,
in the aftermath of an act
But to stem the Blood with the Words spoke before.
When the Pen and the Dialogue fade in Retreat,
and young men are pushed to the fore
it’s then the march must be stopped with the feet
It’s then that we must ask, what for?
One pocket full of crumbs
in the other shrivelled chestnut,
between weather fingered thumbs
The chaff we can’t forget rubs.
In the lining of lapels
are the remnants of soft petals,
and a fair ground list of spells
That a Gypsy never settled.
Where once the button met the eye
no longer shall they couple,
how elegantly they did lie
where now the creases sadly crumple
The threadbare loop is fraying more
each longer night untwisting,
it hangs there lonely on the door,
No earthly thing is listening.
They took all of the stolen things and put them into crates,
they emptied out the Palaces
they planned their great escapes
They sailed out of the bay in fleets,
they kept their ensigns hid
they knew to keep the silence just like their fathers did
They sailed to where they once called home
they disembarked with glee,
ingloriously now alone in silent victory
They disgorged their silken pockets, the treasure chests and crates,
emblazoned all the crockery, beatified their greats,
then laundered all the plunder onto sterilised estates
Yet all this honest robbery we claim it as our own
complicit in our snobbery disregarding those unknown,
Displaying faded fortunes that once were someones home.
Where do you start after twenty years of blood?
A thousand miles from the origins,
On a blank page like a tombstone awaiting the chisel.
The names have all been carved in stone and flesh,
They are burned in the memories of orphans and widows.
Some even breathe tonight that will be gone tomorrow.
Messages of love are punched on keyboards,
Anger is raging yet resigned to the calm of inevitable deliverance.
That brief sublime before the bullet hits the skull and in comes peace.
I see their faces smiling and grimacing alike,
I hear their laughter, their joy at being alive in troubled times.
I reach out into the night that takes us all, and imagine hope.
Unfolding fell the canopy of silken wings,
catching air they spread their span
then like a storm which great change brings
they scorched the earth betrayed by man.
and when they took to their ascent
to leave what once was all that was,
no living thing asked where they went
nor mourned one day for what was lost.
Angels are such boring Prey
they hang around these gates all day
expressly charged to turn away
all who don’t do just as they say
But I am fallen and have no fear
of any souls that enter here
I bear the wings of lesser gods
who grant such things as they cannot
For I am free to choose my flight
whatever’s wrong whatever’s right
my Talons pluck their eyes of sight
that they might dwell in endless night
I roar and swoop to great applause
and soar above our masters floors
and all this too it could be yours
exchange these gates for open doors
Don’t worry too much that someone isn’t having their throat cut
while you sit on your couch,
while you flick through the channels,
While you peacefully slouch.
Don’t worry too much that there’s no-one beyond the wall
while you turn the next page,
while you inwardly rage,
and you do nothing at all.
Don’t worry too much that some hold the tide
while you splash in the shallows,
while you pray at All Hallows,
While you comfortably hide.
Don’t worry too much that their names are unknown
while you make your donations,
while you curse those cruel nations,
While they die alone.
Don’t worry too much that young men are dying
while you swallow the Kool-Aid,
With the price only they paid,
While our leaders are lying.
Don’t worry too much while you sleep fast tonight
that you’ll not wake in the morning,
to a new day that’s dawning,
That you’ll not be all right.
Our leaders sit in comfort while our young men and women put themselves in danger attempting to fix their incompetence. Armchair experts write poetry and advice to anyone who will listen, imagining they know what the streets of Kabul might be like. A small group of silent men and some women work tirelessly in ways that will never be reported in their own lifetime to save life and take life, in order to save life. They will come home quietly unannounced and Un-flagged to a nation of virtue signalling ignoramuses who imagine they could do what they do simply by thinking about it in a bloody armchair. Many of the silent actors will descend into madness and drunkenness, some will make good but none will get the credit they deserve and all will have to live with what they did and saw with no thanks or recognition. While every tom dick and harry knows better than those who can never speak.