The lords and warriors are done
Courage and carnage weighed out in their scales
The matter settled in their minds
Mayhem gives way to quiet.
We are the first to come, after the ravens.
They just want eyes, but we take anything -
Belts, helmets, swords - anything that shines.
We're more like magpies, us.
Next up are women,
Sighing like the wind among the grass.
Their groaning drowns the sound of those
Who're slow to die.
Even now I hate it when they find
Who they are looking for.
Their wombs move, and the sky
Is wounded by their cries.
Why do they come here, looking for grief?
Why not just say home, dry
And wait and see if he returns,
And if not, cry alone?
After the women, come the monks
Incense to offset the gathering stench
Of blood and shit and rot, urging their spirit souls to leave.
If they existed, would they want to stay?
Last band of all, sent by their lord
Poor peasant farmers come
And dig deep trenches over days
And drag the stench away
Planting the rotting seed.
They do the one good thing in all of this,
Nourish the earth, so that it grows
Another crop of playthings for the lords of war.
Lords, lovers, lollards, diggers, all,
Who makes a profit here?
Only us magpie scavengers.
One day we'll rule the way things are, you'll see.
(c) Richard Lawson