Something whistles in the wind, some bird, perhaps
a rocket, some sound that breaks the silence. Forests
climb high hills and under the trees' heavy limbs
thousands of men and women grunt, sweat, haul
rifles, ammunition, supplies. The same very old war
keeps being fought, people die as they always die, only
there are new ways, children clad with bombs, women
weep for some cause as old as the thought of war.
The music that accompanies death plays on and on,
no break between movements, no pastoral, no lyric melody,
discordant notes, wild abstractions, Varese and Pierre
Bouille, squeaks and echoes and sighs, a little night music.
Flowers fade, weeds squeeze them out. A single bouganvillea
struggles upwards, blossoms like napalm in the hot sun.
© by H. Palmer Hall