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It shall not keep, that sylvan flock
lie un-mourned 'cross the channels
and so ever swap the lives they lost
to fast of all your chattels

Love's grimace, the cause of a century's accursed wars
we stand now upon towers of sorely cloven bone
for a moment's worth of un-grief, un-swathed
in innocent grave's millstone shadows cast..

so many rows, upon rows on which to sow
the occasional wreath or posy -
rosy, orderly blood-blot prayers lain out like silent screams and cares -
despair 'tween rood, sharp, eroding reptile teeth
and too, how many shadows cast, it can never be known
while all we do in razing our devil-neighbour's home
is simply to filch even more countryside in which
to fit yet more rows of sullen stone.

On century's curtain some may say
the world was near war-totaled and in kip
then toting up the wares of war
Bush's base raced to debase
once more, our nitid race
once more the call to war
once more quarry profits soar
for victor, more dangling inventories and store!

Mankind at best can barely fathom
the shallowest of tomes it seems,
as democracy, lightly read by god,
was heard to splutter in its bed:
“I am dying” - and god agreed.
And die it might for all and ever,
a mad statisticians blown-out endeavour
it rattles at its cage lamenting..
after the event.

The poet is mankind's scar that cannot heal
the wounds be wheyfaced mankind's savage lips
and for every murdered human child
another word, from language, slips

So into easy silence slip you
all ill-fit and fettered stock, lush-hungry,
of contract and cheerfully enslaved once more
that you might swiftly gain
mercurial improvement to your lot
in murderous ignorance of all the anathematised stuff outside your door

Where words are in such scant supply
it pains my heart – more babes must die.
Copyright © Ben Kross

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