Poem | Five Hours

Five Hours

…is a morning’s work
with its tussles and chatterings
as starlings in gardens in a city in peace time
Where crossing the road in leather-soled shoes
is smooth as an in-breath
And war a thin memory tussled over in ink –
Infantries of opinions – or held fresh in frail minds
(they left dead friends in blood-mud)
so cappuccino queuing is our daily concern –
Or camouflaged-clad lads
who crouch sweat soaked in deserts for another man’s war
and the reasons they die there lie as rice paper roads
built by men with smooth hands

Five hours
… of a ceasefire
and a haemorrhage of people bow-run from their doorways
To flour sacs and cashpoints
While putty fingered toddlers cling to crouching mothers
whose feet crunch in rubble –
And sand-spattered child-bones
lie in their blood-pools –
A beach grave playtime makes synapses snap
and tear-dammed faces unable to speak.

Five hours
… of a blind snake sleeping
In its fossorial slumber
Coiled and unseeing
Deaf to words spoken –
their vibrations too fine
Only thump thud boots in the sands –
Metronomic in two time –
or a tank grinding by
As it rattles the earth.
Will shake its dense skull to
A kind of a hearing
(it took aeons to ossify its calciferous bones)

But the silent still killings
won’t stir its cold-bloodedness
from this dark-creviced Hades.


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