A DREAM OF WAR
If the red slayer thinks that he kills…
Two partisans about to die
suck on dry rags
and call for water, and
more bullets for their store
And if the victim thinks that he is slain…
To the north
Ganesh dances carefully
swinging his dusty blue trunk
above a child.
they are mistaken…
To the south
in best community manner
casually distribute letters and pleasantries,
as if to say
“Why not turn your muzzles to your mouths
to save us time and trouble?”
for the eternal in man cannot die…
But they have earned their choice of death
out of a lifetime’s oppression
and in this film that changed into a dream
they wait out their last few minutes
bounded by unforgiving grey walls, litter
broken glass, and outside, to the north,
the elephant headed one,
to the south, the emissaries of their death.
The spirit of Christ will never move us…
Just now, they’re sails becalmed, swinging, useless.
Waiting for the onslaught of noise that gives them point and purpose, turns on their power. The heart bursting of the mothers son their enemy, this strange love, rod to rod until they feel the numb red comfort of nemesis thudding into their flesh to wake them from the dream of life.
…to fight and war against any man with outward weapons…
It all began a long while back,
in dusty, endemic, common callousness
played out day by day,
the way it always does.
This was a dream I had in 1999, written after some similar atrocity.
The first section in italics is from the Bhagavad Gita, the second a Quaker declaration.
Life is about learning how we can be happy in such a way that everyone else could be happy too.