Sunday, February 26, 2012

Soldier Songs

Goodbye lurks everywhere,
different kinds of soldiers
marching into different kinds of war,
behind them a devastation of closing doors,
guarding memories in bottles
or velvet lined oaken chests
against predation:
goodbyes try to steal one from the other.

Sitting alone with his kit along a river,
at his campfire,
he sees her dancing again in the flames,
somewhere he is flickering in hers,
another goodbye stretched taut and thin
as a long low howl in a sleeping forest
at midnight.

He looks at the mystery and misses it,
the question and the answer,
setting sun on the water,
the bright eagle soaring.

He will remember a distant dog barking,
at his feet water softly lapping,
days getting shorter,
menacing tyrannies
crouched upon the border,
a campfire burning,
a prayer wheel slowly turning.

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