Treasure Island

Dilantha Gunawardana


Concubines Of War (Heroes and Villains)


Fear ambushes the meek soul
Petrified of treading
On familiar alleyways
On footsteps etched in folios of time
To trespass on mortal soil
Crucibles of sweat and blood

A crossroad
Where mortality beckons
In every paltry deed
Where bullets tear flesh
And claymores fragment bones
Where snipers prowl
And garrisons howl
Where emancipated souls rise like smoke
From scattered embers of life

For war
Is no playground for brazen heroes
Only a melting pot of fear and doubt
For no mortal is made of granite
but grafted meticulously
From divine clay

For the conscience is a lion
Even if the body is a lamb
For the enemy sits
Not within dugouts and trenches
But on the pillows of a finger
Idling on a metallic trigger

For a soldier is a hero to his nation
But a villain to his conscience
Bipedal leaches
Deracinting the temple of life
From the soil of man

For belligerent earth
Is not where legends are born
But where heroes and villains
Are perpetuated side-by-side
On nameless tombstones

Maroon hearts
Marooned consciences
Mere concubines of man
In the gallows of war
Where heroes are sculpted of sweat
And villains are leached of blood

Yet hidden beneath
These pools of sweat and blood
Is the virgin conscience
Raped by the wrath
Of a grunting gun barrel

Submitted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A poem on war

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