War Clouds, a poem by Douglas John Imbrogno at Spillwords.com
The Digital Artist

War Clouds

War Clouds

written by: Douglas John Imbrogno



When wars burst forth far across
the world from me, about which I have
nothing but half-formed knowledge
and free-range horror,

I look up. Skies and buildings framed
against the clouds. Human habitation and
artifice, rectilinear imposition against
Nature’s meander and flow …

These seem a calming order to contrast
the chaos of the news of massacre. As if,
after they tally the body toll, after
tit-for-tat eruptions thump and re-echo,

we must find, somewhere, a semblance
of order in the shared cosmos.
This may, of course, just be purple
posturing or delicate sideline evasion.

Yet it gets me through to the next
moment, reducing by a soupcon today’s
despair, defined by the O.E.D. as
‘the complete loss or absence of hope,’

a most dangerous place to be
in a too-often grievous world.
So, here is a building rising
against the ancient hieroglyphic sky.

There, a tower contrasted by a tree,
a seeming order in the midst of the
bedlam of génocidaires, dropped
from the skies, intent on murderous arts.

I must look down at some point,
cloud to ground, where we
live out this diurnal cortège,
set to warfaring drumtap and dirge.

When we have nothing more to say
except to help contain the killers and
tease out the taproots of generations
of hate without seeding more.

And try again at stopping. Starting
again at the place that begins when
we trace the order, for just a moment,
of the revelatory sky.

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