odd time signatures

Mine fields

there are no saints,
only sinners


varied states of decay,
varied states of war.
their wars shred saints
their wars of words,
their wars on drugs,
their wars on terror,
their wars on each other.

Some fight with guns
Some fight with barbs
Some fight with knives
Some fight with currency

And we all step back.

For a single day we pray
Pray for the souls of the sinners
Pray for the souls of the lost
Pray for the saints without names
Pray for gods and godless alike

(on one single day)

Vindicate, celebrate, remember
Bloodstained battlefields
splattered across
city streets, suburban landscapes,
the empty bedroom
where the neighbor kid used to live
before he was blown to bits.
or the room with the king-sized bed
where two were, now one.

Underground bunkers, disintegrated,
made in Korea.

Urban graveyards fashioned
with howitzers and hyacinth.

Unmarried and married battle
entrench before settlement.

Barracks remain barren.

Ghosts walk through our wars
shaking holographic fists in unison,
moaning at our failure
to learn from their transformation.
Ghostly wails whisper directions,
point hazy fingers toward truth.
Our ghosts touch shoulders of
commander and commanded alike
leading them away,
pulling them away,
tearing them away.

gods or grenades finish them.

Brigades march on,
ranks swell.
saints and sinners,
ghosts and flesh,
men and women,
gods and godless,
souls of the sold,
equally dead,
one on one,
in an unequal world.
marking time
at the gates of
charred gardens.

Wars are the wisdom of men.
Listen to the ghosts.

Image credit: ChrisPearson72/Flickr

I wrote this last week, after horrible wars of words broke out over the Proposition 8 court decision and the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Today’s news of Dr. Tiller’s assassination alongside the continuing saber-rattling of North Korea convinced me to publish it. Wars of words become the wars of mankind, doing real harm, causing real destruction, ending real lives, and still, we all step back.

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