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by Dee Sunshine
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An Anti-War Poem with a difference
The angels play chemical kettle drums for these dead men. Smiling sad as colonels handing out medals. Medals for dead men. This new age. New rage. Its war. And all this will be destroyed. There is no garden of liberation.
A tin machine with angry, jubilant, glorious others underneath. Waves in the deep. A second roll of imagining. The avant-garde chosen few. The burnt out survivors. Swell of drum roll leading to apocalypse. Waiting and wailing out. Makes me dream so soft of before.
I run away, not an army, not a green beret: smell of piss and fear and ammonia. Rank discord. Smell of apocalypse. To begin the end. Here, a pawn in the underground.
Soft bellies, ragged in the side and bright as soft teats/ one march across the chess board and blown to small bits. The wind pulls me forward.
Forward by his light. This God of infernal Zion. Benign, cartwheeling towards the shelled town, down into a white free sun. High as sky high love light. White before this body. Feel nothing. These pink tit bits. This blood. Mud. I hear angels, sirens singing. Soft, gentle, touching me with wounds: not dying but drifting like brides dancing through corn. I drift, a cross, Christ light, Christ like over charnel ground. The lunacy, a rusted metal dream upon me.
Such pain in these dreams. Blue, blue as only bodies can be. Ill with long death. Rusted metal/ brief as only I can be.
Hopeless this dreaming of something white. Remembering only, how to breathe.
Breathe, nearly naked small boy at her breast, free like wind, I eat up the Earth. It is swimming.
Sustenance in my belly. A mouse, all now and now nothing. Red meat disgusts. I remember other times. Hell is cordite smell. I could not stay and die like all the others.
They smell of if-joys, talk of cricket and other things. I am resolved to not turn black. Life is not a piece of cake.
I want out
Sunk into mud ocean floored/ sweaty grimy being/ toxic with claustrophobic trench foot/ first into the bunkerís a dead man and Christ is next appearing at cinema near you.
I am me again/ churning in the afterdrift of a few burnt over/ bombers grinding sky to gunmetal dawn... survivors celebrating to strewn limbed revulsion/ here, a foray at living, a second star in the east/ I hear my mouth leading me to death... a red maid who walks the red squares of the chess board.
Nothing else. Too ragged to fight, but they strike. One orange red flower of death like a random coming of Christ light. Feeling the swell, blinking in the shrapnel of the new race. Remembering death sunk away, and saying thank you for the bleached yellow corn, way across the hills, but still not freedom running.
A sense of tranquillity descending now as fear blacks out to new place. Cannot feel back to a time before. Now, but a sublime peace, a peace that cannot sustain without dreams of glowing brides, Jesus, Mary (and I am out the wheat fields with transposed hands and a river of melting soaking in salt water sink and gone gone gone)
Voices.... them calling me back to dead men and gun shot orchestras serenading. A vision charging me, red and brown as breath choked from mustard gas... running, running, running back to the small shelled town where we dreamt of dying to the sound of apocalyptic tango, strung out and waiting for orders to advance
I am running back
No part of me moved to heroics. No stoic. A dream of flying free, lying in blood earth under cover of charred, scorched fronds of once-was-corn. See her coming to me, blond hair in pleats. A corn dolly. A hallucination. The devil dancing on a fiery sea of stones. Let my hometown fry in hell. I want her. Her pink tits milking my thirsty mouth.
But I am not stupid... I hear her bagpipe call, her disarray. The mocking cabaret of dead men and troop train smell.
I am nothing. A man swat fly of fear. A part of those who would strike out at a random bunch, a random race... be they ugly or Christ-like and gentle.
I am running towards hills. An early small boy naked. Feel nothing now but my lungs... remembering how to breathe.
Running now, a scream tore her... to free her breast like the wind, that I may eat up the Earth.
Her teats like matchwood, leading my mouth to death. Stones on the red squares of this board.
Here lies an unknown soldier. Too anonymous when orders came in.
There is no garden of England. No return to the soft rebate of hills, the rose twines of church gates and Sunday roast cricket. I will never eat from
these bodies burnt, twisted, torn
in soft brown moist gravy,
an idyll of rural angels and chess boards, red & white gingham of schoolgirl innocence. This is the wretchedness of all this bloody war. There can never be a return. These medals are for killers. This government is a whore. There is nothing in the burnt out aftermath. Nothing to breathe. This torn pink tit of flesh in my side. No pain anymore. Just angels and charred sustenance. I am Christ and all red meat disgusts.