What can I do?- a poem
What can I do?
By Tony DeLorger © 2012
Each step impetuous,
each thought racing,
a blur of notions,
I forge a path toward a dream,
the ground littered with the bones,
of those before me.
Faint ghostly cries fill my ears,
tortured souls yearning, warning,
yet I move on,
the cracked parched earth,
brittle beneath me.
Dust and a hot airless breeze,
raises strewn paper to flight,
words in the wind,
formless and alone.
I brush them aside and gasp for breath,
the red dust choking,
the heat burning lungs.
I see a man hunched by the path,
covered with dust, dishevelled,
his right-hand limp, hanging,
a pen half covered with dust below it.
In his left hand a letter,
half crushed with anger.
He ignores me,
mumbling ‘what would they know’
so I move on,
fleetingly looking back,
to see his body turn to dust,
in a swirl of red particles
he is lost to the wind.
My steps are now lethargic, forced,
and the wind is beating harshly
against my face,
my eyes clenched tight,
my hand raised for protection.
Then bodies begin to appear,
first one then a dozen,
bones bleached, flesh torn like paper,
words on every square of flesh,
like tattoos, marking, remembering,
foretelling and accepting.
I now stumble over the bodies of thousands,
their weak and dried flesh giving way,
beneath my feet,
a terrible crunching,
turning my stomach.
In the distance I see a light,
and I grasp my book, determinedly,
Sometimes I wonder
why I’ve chosen to be a writer.
More by this Author
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An article about the destructive earthquake in New Zealand and a poem about earthquakes.