Carry on soldier,
Hey it’s all dust,
Carry on soldier boy,
It’s all dust,
You, your bag of tricks and dominoes.
Take a slow walk by the ocean,
You and ten thousand sail,
A glorious dead dandelion army.
Snake eyes soldier boy, there’s always an end.
One last roll. – One rigged dice.
You always play – your hands purple with crushed flowers.
Carry on, with your big army toy and at night dream of dead flowers.
Remember that girl?
Remember that hillside daffodil?
Remember the trembling wind drawing you to slice the lilting thing clean?
All dust and dead flowers – all blackness – all silence – a victimless scene.
Do you remember the rose?
Just sixteen and budding?
Your fingers slipped and the toy grew into a gun.
The rose collapsed.
Just another wise flower.
Oh soldier boy, carry on,
You’ll soon be full grown.
Oh, what about that dream?
Mist and dew and your body hidden and dead under a rolling wind.
It’s a cruel world and it was dead, cold, hiding under a wind,
Five foot long and sinking.
Come on soldier boy,
Rest your head on a woman.
Where is she now?
She saw you and was afraid.
‘Carry on’ she groaned,
too strained to look or stand.
Fear in her daffodil blood.
In her hands was a weeping willow tree.
‘Take me’ she begged, ‘and carry on, like all those others, with your steel eyes – they were blue when we were sweet sixteen.
Come on my soldier, hurt me, I’m an open flower, hurt me and make me a queen.
Make me the queen of six billion headless lilting flowers.
With you my wicked arm,
Grinning, shooting the last hyacinth,
Mining flowers for gold.
Oh but my soldier, I am a daisy.’
You know, it’s never wrong to crush a flower.
But soldier boy, why the land cluttered with violet corpses and hungry bees?
Every life is a dew drop, grinning hyacinth, laughing before a great fall, five feet rising.
Carry on soldier boy, it’s all dust,
Reckless dust, a dream, a withered autumn.
Copyright © 2004 Oisín Breen. No reprints or distribution of any kind sort in any form in this or any other known universe or dimension or medium without my express permission.