Teeth shone tempered brilliance from within the glades,
A legion of tongues rustling through the wet grin-
Each one deftly pronged with carnivorous blades
That rang and clattered against their cold, scattered kin.
Upon a new world the beast had set eyes,
Incendiary orbs like the void ever-yawning,
Never sated on conquests or fire-fed skies
That before the blazing gaze were constantly dawning.
No, inheriting the palate of its preceding blood,
The congenital gluttony wont of its kind,
This son, named Belligerence, which sharpened shells stud,
Only hungered for territory, scorched earth left behind.
In the fallow earth at its feet, the beast laid a line thin and red-
Then traversed it, violent narratives craving reign in its head.
Striding spattered fields where corpses collect,
Macabre ornaments strung on glistening wire,
The Conqueror Worm consumed the plains derelict
Where carrion abounds and Death does not tire.
Its flourish flew sulfurous from the mouths of hot muskets;
Crimson curtains arrayed and splayed saw the beast
As it rode atop a thousand emboldened rustics
Who, with a Puck in the ear, feared the grave not in the least.
Those plains roared anarchic with soldiers stampeding
Like buffalo crazed at the prospect of a spear,
Vermilion spray unto sallow countenances clinging
And spurring mania to boil and glory to near.
Warfare like a god sprawled across the setting, the altar
Sanctified by craven wigs who never die, but always palter.
How the mountains have come to tremble here,
Chimbling plateaus damming currents below
With rocky munitions deployed through the clear
Yet acrid sky ripe with what the acres bestow.
For Time imparts progress in its hoary age,
Doting on children with shiny new toys:
Golden clips, hot wheels, capsules to assuage-
All arms with which the beast corrupts and destroys.
No era can emerge from the prior’s dead husk
Without that spectre, Belligerence, holding tight to its heels;
Thus those thundering footsteps that quiet the dusk,
The western front scarred with pockmarks and scavengers’ meals.
But with its countenance darkened by the rising sun released,
This Destroyer of Worlds turned, and made a funibrial plot of the East.
March on the silver-toothed progenies of pride,
A nation’s exhortations clinking around outstretched necks.
The standard, red-splattered and royal and white,
Their haven from whence valor springs and bedecks
The fluttering heart and the traumatized mind,
Courage, a much smoother syrup to down;
Yet even that banner and the vigor designed
May become taut pendulums of the monster, renowned.
Old World landscapes it exchanged for the dunes,
The sun cracking foetor from Warfare’s tan-and-green hide-
And even with the stark change of locale and tunes,
Still brandished, the armaments that faded epochs provide.
His holocaustic breath sends rivets ripping through roses,
Bloomed of the dirt where the sacrificed vantage reposes.
What future can one even possibly fathom
For the race ever-fearing, ever-feeding the beast?
What machinations await that figure, flaming like Sodom,
Once called into form: ruptured atoms, cogs greased?
At what point will thoughts drift from televised static and snow
To ascertain the true answer to the question “Why we fight?”
Is the only way to wake a drowsing nation a blow
To the (figure)head and two eyes forced to the light?
Kings are content to squander the pawns
As long as their own borders ne’er become breached…
So who really holds blame as Belligerence repeatedly spawns,
The future deployed, wasted, and of potential leeched?
The Monster of global, genocidal taste shows no preference;
Unless resisted it will consume all people, without conscience or deference.