This poem is about the inherent folly of war.
From fighting for my country, I have learnt
That bombs fall like raindrops,
But so do tears. So does vomit. So does blood.
And the human ego is so
Fragile, yet indestructible.
It finds itself woven subtly
Into uniforms, weapons and empty pledges of empty allegiance.
Looking up at the sooty, dust-filled sky,
I thought it was almost beautiful
How one person flying overhead,
Holds in his hands the limitless power to kill,
To destruct and destroy,
To take our lives and wipe our sins away
And compete against infinity.
Every bullet that slices through the air like a shooting star
Holds the power to slice through a heart,
To bring a man down to his knees and breathe
His very last breath.
To orphan a child, to widow a wife,
To extinguish a thousand hopes, dreams and fears,
To steal a life.
Because war makes us feel powerful- immortal- like gods.
But it reduces men to nothing- to ghosts, not gods, hiding in their own ribcages,
Unsure of what to do-
It’s almost beautiful how men cry too.
In a life where love is the only war we’ve yet to wage,
Where men sit in shallow trenches- shallow graves,
Praying- begging- to see their loved ones again.
They don’t have time to see the irony of it all:
They demolish cities and wreck livelihoods
While they yearn for the comfort of their own families.
Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori,
Show me where it hurts, and listen carefully:
Listen to how gunshots sound like heartbeats in the distance,
See how the blood that flows whimsically through the veins of the Earth
Has no name, no nation, no personality;
They are fluids of cowardice and terror, of tenderness and humanity.
We are just children, pretending to be men, and I long
To be held again.
To lay roses over the eternal tombs of the fallen, but there are no roses left-
Only shrapnel and shells of men, hollow and bereft.
Slovenly, we shoot for the moon, for the stars, for love, for peace.
But we all end up in the hell
Where youth and laughter go.
Sadia Ahmed, 2016