01 January 2009

To Let Them Die Peace (rev)

There wasn’t time for sympathy,
the epicentre moved too rapidly
for that and even when we knew
the anger of the dispossessed
the storm had passed.

It blew into their lives already
stressed by large events with
precedents that rose from dark
and baleful incidents beyond
the wildest stretch of their
naïve imagination.

Ululation for the recent dead
resounded through the canvas
tents that formed in ragged lines
amongst the devastation, the
remnants of their island nation.

Piled upon a shattered beach
the living dead had listened
listlessly to those who preach,
their eyeless faces turned to seek
the truth, a worthy explanation,
but none would come and lift
them in their desolation.

We left them to their solitude,
we left them to pursue another foe
whose spoor we’d seen descending,
we left them promising that we’d
return but knew the truth without
them comprehending.

The storm that passed had
killed the earth they sat upon
and soon would kill them too,
it mattered not what we could
do except to let them die in peace –
and never tell them why.
© 2005, I.D. Carswell