Terry O'Leary

Boa's Ark - Poem by Terry O'Leary

The men, in lines, tramp two by two
(forgetting all the women who,
preparing for a night of tricks,
were painted with their flaming sticks)
and think about the time ahead
when they'll be gone, their bodies dead
(some rotting slow', some mummified)
though once they were their mummy's pride.

Attired bright in uniforms,
they've strewn their bombs in desert storms -
like melting sands, the sky deforms
with darkness, death - and doomsday swarms
through ravished lands where fires warm
the corpses, cold and puriform.

Their eyes flash forward towards the back
of lucky ones who have the knack
of never being in the way
of bursts of bullets as they stray
(effacing phantoms faraway)
but live to die another day.

They're wishing for a foggy morn
or best of all to be unborn,
and peering down to mark the sway
of wings in webs while spiders prey,
they wonder when their time will come
and they can cease their fleeing from
the sights they've seen, the deeds they've done,
the life they've lost, the death they've won,
then muse a while upon the child
they killed today when they went wild,
and when they're finally reconciled
with broken bodies stacked and piled,
they ponder, does she have a kin
to curse them for their burning sin?

And if she does, will god reply
with tooth for tooth and eye for eye?

Or will her clan be mild and meek
and simply turn the other cheek?

They're counting steps to pass the time
and puzzle if they'll reach their prime
or if instead they'll serve the worm
their carnal flesh and aching sperm
when soon, perhaps, they sleep in berth
provided by the chilling earth,
and fret about the fate they'll find
below the stones that slowly grind.
And once or twice will come to mind
a sultry smile they left behind
(the distant past - a tepid trace -
another time, another place) ,
reflected in a death grimace
that paints a frightened withered face.

And on they trek through guilt and gloom
to track their own and others' doom
and soon they'll grace another pool
with blood of other beings who'll
inhale no more the evening airs,
unlike the wily Functionaires
who brutalize the fighting men
and send them far away and then
(relaxed, unwound, with victories made)
confer with sword an accolade
on those who've lopped heads bowed, with blade,
so someone bent must turn a spade
to hack a hole which then is filled
with all the cloven bodies killed
then cloaked with clay or loamy dirt,
as if to hide the pain and hurt.

Amongst the many are the few
who maim and kill and think it's true
that purple war's a parlour game
when really they are draped in shame
for crimes of which they are to blame
and can't expunge with searing flame
while plodding through an endless time,
or pealing bells with holy chime,
or posing in a paradigm
where paradox and riddle rhyme.

And when they die, as die they must,
forevermore their putrid dust,
still soaked with gore and carmine lust,
will conjure thoughts of cold disgust,
and even though torrential rain
(which tastes at times like cool champagne)
can wash away the scarlet stain
which mars the earth and its terrain,
it cannot ever cleanse the hands
that work the guns and burning brands,
or purge the throats that give commands
to him who never understands,
nor can the raging hurricane
from blackened souls the white regain,
rescind the sins or void the banes
or shroud the night with golden chains.

When through the night and day they pass,
their eyes avoid the looking glass
displaying dim a pale phantasm
plunging deeper in a chasm,
surging through a blood orgasm,
smiling thin unveiled sarcasm
for the chances lost to taste
the many fruits that went to waste
when each was still a joyous lad,
who went to school and learned to add
and danced in rivers barefoot clad,
and went to church with mom and dad
and learned about the good and bad,
before he grew insanely mad
and took his brothers by their throats
and thrust them into midnight moats
and watched their booted bodies float
(quite like some broken battered boat)
and left the rag of bones to bloat
in bullet-ridden overcoat,
and wondered if the goblins gloat
or spot (behind his eyes, a mote) ,
then strode away without a thought
that mortal lives had come to naught,
sedated by his conscience brought
to nothing more than dripping snot,
while Others sit upon a yacht
and pluck the eyes of perch They've caught,
for fishes die and seem to see
The Ones behind the tyranny
(with bellies round from gluttony)
in future dangling from a tree
(with leaves as black as ebony) ,
for that's, They fear, Their destiny.

At night the soldiers sometimes dream
of many things which make them scream,
with burning flesh and cold ice cream
upon their lips, which makes it seem
as though their salt they can't redeem
when looking back in bold extreme
at valiant warriors' victory scheme>,

Or ofter yet,
a broken skull upon the street
with gaping eyes and mouth replete
with swollen tongue that cannot greet,
or yell aloud or indiscreet',
or talk about the grand deceit
of Those Who live on Easy Street,
Who plot, destroy and overeat,
while others wait beneath a sheet
on bed of steely cold concrete,
with final gift a flag or wreath
that soon will wither like their teeth
when once they've settled underneath
(a mound of muck on vacant heath) >.

And ever more before they wake,
appear the dreams not quite opaque,
keeps popping up a pregnant Drake
who says 'there must be some mistake,
I only have a belly ache',
while high above's a flying Snake,
she cries aloud 'you are a fake,
you've eaten up my birthday cake';
and turquoise Turtles on the make
(they're grinding gears to overtake,
while slurping down a chocolate shake)
arise to say 'let us explain,
we think you men are all insane,
you should be made of cellophane
and ought to wear a window pane
to see more clearly those you've slain,
enough to fill the Dim Domain
with blood and guts and tears and pain,
Chimeras of a frenzied brain.'

A worn and weary weather vane
announces floods of claret rain
that forty days and nights sustain,
submerging mountains, raising Cain,
and flushing mankind's acid reign
down nature's evolution drain.

The Serpent hails a hydroplane
'because', she hissed, 'we can't remain;
behind the hill, the atom's spark
has wiped away the palace park,
and turned to dust the rainbow's arc
and blotted out the Meadowlark'.

And while the others hush and hark,
a feline Toad begins to bark
'this plane is certainly Boa's Ark.
Let's flee the Human hierarch,
forsake all Men to sate the Shark
that swim beneath the Waters Dark,
and purge the traces of the Mark
in Eden when we disembark.'

The beasts, in lines, by twos embark...>

The dreamers wake, they're staring, stark,
behind their eyes a watermark...

Topic(s) of this poem: war

Comments about Boa's Ark by Terry O'Leary

  • Bri Edwards (11/18/2013 2:20:00 PM)

    And on they trek through guilt and gloom
    to track their own and other's doom.............i'm no expert. tell me, and i (may) believe you; should it be other's or others'?

    there is much fine writing here (and i haven't finished yet) . i especially have liked, so far, :

    confer with sword an accolade
    on those who've lopped heads bowed,
    with blade, so someone bent must turn a spade
    to hack a hole which then is filled........ etc.

    and left the rag of bones to bloat.........i've heard of bag of bones but not rag of bones.

    sedated by his conscience brought
    to nothing more than dripping snot, .....not a perfect rhyme for me.........BUT a perfect picture....wow!

    this poem is so great that i wonder: do you mean to have ] in the following line?
    at valiant warriors' victory scheme], and a couple of extra marks in the next stanza also?

    i love the dream sequence. and and flushing mankind's acid reign
    down nature's evolution drain. how odd........i just read Cain in another poem today, by an irish poet(ess) on ph.
    the Mark.......the devil?

    time for me to run.........to an appointment. THANKS FOR SHARING! gotta go to MyPoemList. :)
    do you mind telling...are you male or female?
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  • Gleb Zavlanov (9/6/2013 10:25:00 AM)

    Loved it! Just pure genius! (Report) Reply

  • Unwritten Soul (8/12/2013 7:59:00 AM)

    Cool as always! You know Terry, it would be big if every part accompanied with illustrated pictures from page to page..it can be a big theme as whole story..you know what i mean_Soul (Report) Reply

  • Ellias Anderson Jr. (9/23/2012 11:28:00 AM)

    WOW! Terry, you always come with strong ideas those bring me to the other place.Boa's Ark, like the Noah's Ark.!
    this is so powerful and fragrant
    i love it.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 6, 2016

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