The deep blue semi-precious stone lapis lazuli has been mined in North East Afghanistan for some 9,000 years. The colour of the stone is reflected in the English word azure. In this poem I use the brilliance of the stone’s colour as a medium to explore the post traumatic stress disorder. For those who have served in Afghanistan and in many other of our world’s ever frequent wars.
As solar flares the waning moon transcend,
So darkness is too bright as I descend
‘Neath Dante’s nine. Black holes suck out my soul,
My will. Harsh bells my epitaph do toll.
No sparks of life enrich my day,
No hope. No friend. No call to play.
My face is streaked by silent tears.
I sit. Anguish. Consumed by fears.
Wake up, they say. Cajole. They do not stay,
Bar one. Who sits, and waits throughout the day.
Her eyes regarding mine; dark green,
With flecks azure. What have they seen
To keep her there? Why does she stay?
So silent. Not a word to say
To urge me on. What care have I
In total dark; ’tis time to die.
Azure. Al lazaward, a dazzling stone.
My mates around, but I alone.
Scarlet was the blood pumped so high
And now he’s dead; maggots eat the eye.
One second more, one second less,
There would I lie, a bloody mess.
My mind give way. I shall not fight.
Afghanistan. ’Tis dark. ’Tis night.
I crawl upstairs towards the Colt marine,
Last used to kill a child. Obscene.
Kalashnikov in baby’s hands still kills
Still tear the flesh, life’s blood still spills.
A brilliant blue. Azure. She gave it me.
Her green eyes flashed making a silent plea.
“Twill bring you luck.” Can it now light the way?
I put off death, at least for one more day.