Saturday, August 30, 2008

Warriors, Priests

Warriors, Priests

(Lawrence Helm)

The clash of our words

Rose until in the general

Melee even the sorrowful

And sick keened their grievance

Above the snarls and sneers:

Their hope of spoil

Their fear of detestation.

I stepped back with

Weary arm, my words

Ran down my sleeve

Onto the ground

Where they sounded

A guttural protest

At the wind.

Others too withdrew

Like tormented

Conies scurrying off

To seek a hiding place

Beneath the piles of trash.

We stood with

Heaving chests. Our eyes

Looked about with deep

Suspicion. Those most

Given to the pacific cause

Were as like as not

To rage against

Our mild and ironic

Warwords. We stood aside

And pulled our cloaks

About our bulging shoulders

And arms, content that

Should our words fail

In resolution our swords

Were sharp enough to etch

Our sayings on city walls.

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