Unspeakable War

New poem. 

Here, today, on this wide plain, war.
A spilling. A multitude
burning. Skins

being shed. Conflict and denial
blooming like nightshade; pale, pale
roses laid upon fresh-turned earth;

I call this out, flooding the hot, darkened air
with my ocean voice, standing still
and claiming this will hold the field for peace;

but the fire sweeps forward, apparently proof
against all I can do as my sword hand
reprimands my tongue, saying:

you have abdicated your place, it’s my turn.
My sword reprimands my pen,
saying: no to your arrogance, your assurance

that your way is mightier; I am ready
for what comes next 
as you are not.

Shamed and unable, 
I am surrounded with burning,
confused, terrified; which weapon

should we choose — should we fold back
into our words or fall silent, save our breath, 
and fight? All I can think of are

my sharpened senses,
the stench, and the flame. There’s
no right, no wrong, no words,

and no sword; only this unspeakable war, 
fought from moment to moment
with anything at hand, never to end.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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