(Solomon Islands, South Pacific, 1943-45 / 2010)
Thick-wristed vines have overtaken
craters where boys thrashed
and died, the screams of spilled guts
and incoming shells. It was the noise,
the blinding noise that killed.
Above white beaches tamarind
and jacaranda filter sun
that coils and hammers flat the day’s
damp heat, while distant voices
falter, gasp, go still.
Strung round the globe such places lie,
idyllic tableaus now, while I
part easily cascades of
trumpet flowers. It is the turquoise
hour, the murmuring time
that slaughtered choices fill.
War, Literature & the Arts (Vol. 27, 2015).