image prompt from 7/31/08:

Avian Armor

by Glenn Buttkuss

Doves of peace
wear armor
as stupid war dragons
brimming with bellicose bumblers
lurk malevolently,
muscling aside the clouds,
their turbines and props whirling
like cries of the slain,
like howling of behemoths,
stifling birdsong warbling
that should lace the sibilant
stratosphere.

Below even great stallions
who should be
free,
are captured, broken, and harnessed,
before they are painted in pitch,
turned to wood,
before their tender hooves
are nailed to derricks and trolleys;
steel trap doors are sunk
into their backs and haunches,
as thousands of them
are pushed laboriously
onto the plains of Payne,
onward in battalions,
ever forward
toward those towering walls
of Troy.

There in the dawn’s shards,
ramparts rise triumphant,
the very walls cleaved
and chopped out
of forests deep;
their heads shaved sharp,
fat spears sprawling thick
as far as the head
could turn,
pulpy golden brown innards
dripping honey sap,
swirling round
tall shafts,
Celtic strong,
Ft. Apache dreams,
Roman towers,
stoic stockades and muddy moats
blocking our way.

Even the sea churns
and boils thick spittle,
rife with bobbing billions
of angry heads—
prehistoric fish, dolphins, sharks, and whales,
eager to see,
anxious to join in,
more than ready to embrace
amphibian morph dancing;
swapping gills for lungs,
fins for arms and legs,
earth for water,
rainbow scales for Kevlar—
yes, volunteers and recruits,
more fresh fodder
for the stupidity—
at the ready,
to stand on new legs,
to flex new muscle,
to learn the use
of weapons,
to fight the New Battle;
duly registered, fully trained
and thrust into the maw of Morpheus—
becoming berserker strikers,
with the bloodlust upon them,
needing to spill blood,
to bathe in the blood
of others,
to cover their faces red,
to spew the desert dust wet
with the liqueur of life,
raging out of control,
ripping their own veins out
like strings of gushing ivy
torn off the walls of cathedrals,
turning the very sky red
and the moon magenta,
as death finds new lovers.

But even in the midst of the melee,
hope hides its heart;
even Gilgamesh admits
it is time
to call Ganymede
and bid him not to tarry
and be certain to carry
the golden cup of the Gods;
the damnit sky is mostly blue
and all the cumulus
is crowded
with angel’s eyes,
as the veil flutters
with the soft embrace
of Spirit’s breath,
and portals are yawning
open, as hordes of white wings
flutter frantically,
witnessing,
counting the dead,
selecting the survivors
and patiently planning
the Restoration.

Glenn A. Buttkus August 2008

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