In Memoriam


On a darkening plane the dead are weeping.

They do not weep for us who,

deafened by the drums of war — again —

stumble blindly into another dark night.

The dead weep for each other.

They weep for all who died

at Verdun, Passchendaele, the Somme,

for those at Gallipoli and Tannenberg,

for all who, on command, went over the top,

to be cut in half by the new weapons of war,

for all who gasped for breath in the trenches,

those slaughterhouses of the soul,

for all those in that first world war,

the war that was to end all wars.

They weep with the sons and grandsons and great grandsons

who have followed them in the unholy sacrifice of blood.

In pale grey light

the generations of the dead are rising from their graves

throughout eastern Europe and the Balkans,

throughout the Middle East,

in Germany and France,

in Russia and England,

and the United States.

Shrouded in morning mist,

wrapped in their tattered and torn tunics,

their lament for each other fading,

they shuffle again toward oblivion.

In the graves where they lie unremembered and unmourned

we keep killing the dead.

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