I read an image of design,
Some remnant of civilisation:
Get lost! It shouted
And I got lost.
Get stoned! It smiled
And I did the same.
Get ready! It beckoned
And I lost my feeling.
Get out, it mumbled
And I left its side.
On seeing the unedited footage of war
Crowd fisted like screaming fools,
A wailing head in a mother’s breast
And all about falling, falling
Down into some terrible consequence.
Crying out with wild eyes
In unison, then in tandem, then disharmony.
Broken, shattered limbs and the boy,
The boy with the face half gone,
Still standing, numbly, swaying
In a hot desert wind that punctures his skull.
The crowd, throbbing and unwieldy,
Running like some maddened river
Through the obvious course,
Suddenly darts to stagger
Upon a fleeing stranger caught out of place,
Beaten to a pulp and raised above heads,
Body lifeless and no longer breathing,
Head flapping against the empty sky.
The crowd, maddened and quaking,
Shocking the walls of the houses around,
Hammering the shuttered shops.
Bathed crimson-red, white and brown,
Heavy in the scent of sweat and blood
That runs in the faces and in the gutters,
That rises to a crescendo
Endless, pulsing, unattainable.
The crowd, twisting and tumbling,
Uncertain of how to express
The multitude of fear, hate and despair,
Spills out into torrents, slows
To a trickle of heavy limbs, eyes, souls.
Grief in the consequence, grief in the means,
The ends and the beginning of it all.
Still shouting at forces they cannot stop
They are wild and desperation
Leads to belief in their own power,
The force of God, however misguided.
Michael Thorne © 2009