Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Dark Days

By 1.20 a.m. the firestorm
raged 2,000 metres into the sky,
even the canals blazed.

Blue flames burned over roasted
brown corpses, doubled up
in pools of melting fat.

The survivors fled Dresden
with the shrunken corpses of their children
packed into leather suitcases.

Corpses from the nightly slaughter
dumped in an Iraqi morgue, the stench
of decaying flesh and disinfectant.

The bodies of children pocked
with holes from power drills,
even their eyes are drilled sockets,

"We didn't want their bodies
cleared from the street.
We left them for the dogs to eat."

Slaughter in the name of a cause -
in inverted commas -
subverts civilisation

denies the music
in the artist's gaze,
the poetic phrase...

Their power cuts out - these are the darkest days.

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved