Under an incendiary sky

Dates of anger throb
Upon the walls of time
Wounds that’ve never healed,
Yanked from comfortable neglect
Into a minute’s grand silence
So that public men can genuflect.
For it is but a memorable year
And sympathetic flies must buzz around the ear.

What else can they do, but remain
Numbered circles on a page
For a token anniversary homage
That the wise know can never right
Seventy-five years of a blinding light.
So quick, light the candles
And serve the mushroom pie
For men are anyway born to die.

I think of an ancient land of warriors,
Men who wore swords
And flew on horses
Their hair tied in a bun.
All undone from above
In a momentary shiver
A billowing sky and cloud
And thousands dead.

Yet none has paused since,
No mighty nation or general
Knowing perhaps or full well
That glory lies in a burnt-out tale
All forgiven in history’s selective memory
Valorous human acts of infamy.
For men would anyway die
Under an incendiary sky.

8 thoughts on “Under an incendiary sky

  1. Iโ€™m reminded of the samurai culture of bushido and how – although they died – it was the world that fell into dishonour.
    Beautifully composed- itโ€™s your first poem Iโ€™ve ever read.
    Do I have your permission to share with our history class students?


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