My first and hopefully only experience of being under fire. This happened when I was living in Angola during the Civil War.
The first shots snapped close, dull, too real.
Explosion wrapped, slow suffocation
and then again, the sharp, muffled thunder
before hell bared shining, shuddering teeth.
Within the instant of death-born life I fell
and slithered like a fleeing snake, for safety.
In deadly song the bullets flew
with words that screamed and thundered.
This song was new, the words unknown and yet
somehow remembered. My mind cleared,
waiting for the time when I could move again.
But in the selfish silence there was no peace.
Moments drawn through endless ages,
dragged me on and yet, I lived within the instant;
It birthed me now and then,
in sudden, writhing dance we took the floor again.
With thump and thud and crack and snap
the song grew loud and fast;
cruel harmony now ruled the world
held captive future, present, past.
Like some amoebic being in murky waters yet
I swam against the fearful tides,
dreamed long of land and light, and
suckled slow and fitfully in deep and muddy depths.
Remembered dreams held out their hands
and turned their skirts to show
that patterned, fading, flash of life
on which my mind must stand.
And when the song was fully sung,
the instruments at peace,
I turned inside myself and saw
Inanna spread; raw hung.
Upon the sharpened, deadly nail
of darkness was she set;
the mirrored room of memory
held image fast, and yet…
I saw upon a distant wall
another image drawn;
a cup which shivered, glisten-full
to offer hope, fresh-born.
I invite you all to look back to a time where you experienced something for the very first time.