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The Veteran

May 11, 2011 · 



The one who sees the pain and futility of it all.

Who knows that war is hell for the poor,

the grunts those who cannot understand but only do and die.

The ones who feel the pain as youth,

torn apart by the shrapnel and the greed of those to total power aspire,

over people, lands and mountains

the buried minerals and the oil to feed their furnace of desire.

Just seventeen years or more, cannon fodder child, falling, falling with innards spilled

on a final journey in a zippered bag,

slaughter house refuse for the political vats of glue

that hold together protest and defiance in those who say , “no more”, to war,

on their college campus killed.

Incredible creations, crumbled cartons of humanity in the steaming jungles of the East,

on Kuwaiti desert sands, high on wind swept peaks, their bones still lie long lost.

Cry a tear if you have the heart, for the mindless mayhem of mankind,

where lies and truth are crossed.

Serbs pursuing slaughter,

Rawandans seek Revenge,

Kosovo counts the killings,

while Private Ryans enthrall.

The turning reels take us to the carnage of the past

the bugles help recall the silence of the guns,

a dawning of the light,

on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month,

when to universal amazement they count ten million dead,

for nothing more than the fields of Flanders or the village called Verdun.

There twenty million torn limbs and shattered minds crawled from blood soaked trenches,

with gas infected lungs and bulging eyes or with none at all but the sockets of the blind,

as if plucked by the ravens of the night.

Shay Cullen


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