I the soldier & I the man

by | Aug 25, 2008 | Poetry | 0 comments

What is it like to be a soldier? Ask not I.

We wait in the sidelines, like so many first time fathers,
Aware: ‘endless pregnancy – endless fatiguing.’
The long periods with spirit deadened by boredom,
Relief: ‘The Soldier’s Friends’ – whore, bottle and gun.

Sometimes I think of the gun in my coffin box,
Left loose among the edgy weapons and mock guns,
And the half-a-century of little copper termites
Waiting, hungrily, for the balsa target food.

I am sitting here with tears in my eyes – crying.
I do not know why? Only I do know that soon
My eyes will be dry and my heart still heavy.
No relief will have come: such sorry sadness.

Why be a Soldier, when I must deny the Man?

The blood in me pounds and pumps a bitter sadness,
Slack-spirited, like the flat beer in a slops tray.
The pricking of the eyes when the air is vacant,
Bereft of even smoke from slack-mouthed smokers.

Tears pour unchecked, down on to my shirt
Splattering the page, as I write, with sad droplets.
I the Soldier? Ha! A concerto of muses.
I the Man. Silent. Insulated… Shallow Man.

What Man is this? I! Man the Soldier, he who dwells here
Within I the Man. What Man is this? I! Man the Shield.
And I the Sword. And I the Man. The Slayer of Man.
Manner maketh Man. Man the Soldier. Soldier! Ask not.

Why be a Soldier, when I must deny the Man?
Why a Soldier be? Undenyed: soldier is man…


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