August 27, 2009
the boredom leaks through his gear
and the dust stops
its constant evolutionary battle
against his skin.
The cooler air
pushes web and pouch and pack
and the turbines
drum the magic of flight
in subliminal statements
of mechanical fact
into his listening bones.
Banking over the drab squares
of desperate lives
divided by the stale and crumbling
grid of a worthless town
the sweat dries in the slipstream
and if he reaches out
he can feel the air gather itself
against his glove.
The innocence of a sandcastle
from here, but below,
the walls are cover and question.
The sweat and breath
of dashes to jam
a shoulder against the bricks
that separate life from life.
To sight along lines of fire
with weapons solid
and eyes aged
Waiting for the elongated second
when it all breaks away
and the boredom compresses
like a spring and leaps toward
the flat cracking noise
that draws the shoulder blades together
and ducks heads,
too late to change its destination.
July 9, 2009
A war baby by choice,
but not your ragged terrified
road hugging, bombed, dirt faced
newsreel staggering refugee.
Not a many homed army brat,
with multiple schools of almost friends
and inconstant bedrooms
and fated participation.
I wanted war, technical seduction,
cheered black and white tanks
dust plumed and deadly
rolling across the fields of nineteen forty
long dead death dealers sitting straight,
Watched parades and charges,
knew the enemy in his uniformed strength
and focussed fear and knew the attraction.
Played it too,
always the winner against
the younger brother nations
because history had left us clear on the score at least.
Behind our house the Golan Heights
were a meter high, grassy
and we rolled and shot and hit and lived to
fight other endless summer days.
In the ritually silenced news time living room
drab green machines quieted by voiceovers
jumped back from punched messages
that flew over desert and hill and
wrote history in flying stone and flame.
Or jungle expanded,
the slashing sleight of handfrom a deadly magician’s sleeve,
an earthward fleeing comma
punctuating with an instant ink blot
I was a war child, and needed it,
until age sensitised
and imagined hardness
and I felt the fleeing footsteps of fear
the unravelling edge of terror.
Now I watch, eyes trained and uncertain.