The Battle

The snow was all around me

Only the corpse over me kept me warm

As I lay dying on the ground

Serve your country they said but now,

All I could think of was  how,

How I could have been so stupid

So unbearably headstrong

To have let myself be dragged along,

Nothing, not my parents entreaties

Nor my lover’s tears

Could Keep me from my goal, my duty

To my motherland, oh so dear

Oh what a fool was I

Young and idealistic, unable to see the light

Believing all that was told to me, eager to the fight

Fight to defend the motherland, they said

Spill blood to bring it it’s due

Glory and Immortalization was all that I could think about

When I signed the  form through

That form which sealed my fate

The ruin of my life

Leaving behind a legacy

Too shameful to  immortalize

Fighting for a cause, which once was my pride

Carried along by the rest

Into that silent night

Now as I lay on the ground

My blood seeping through the snow

The man I killed lay above me

Weighing me down

My conscience revolted at what I had done

As I finally saw the light,

But I shied away from it

From fear that it might

Show me for what I was, and all the things that I had done

My hands once so pure, like virgin snow

Were redder than a blood moon, on a cold winters night

Red not with the blood of the slain

But because I realized that they had died in vain

Coz in that cause I believeth no more, I finally realized

All along I was just being an instrument of might

To those whose flagrant propaganda,

I should sooner have realized,

Had nothing to do with my country

Or anything that might be worthy,

Just a bunch of people going about the eternal wheel

Where the ruthless use the weak.

As I lay there with the body over me

Symbolising my plight

That man who would have killed me but an hour past

Was all that warmed me and held me to this life

That was when it dawned on me

That we were all the same

That’s when I realized that its all just a game

A game which the powerful play

Using us like pawns

No price being too high

To win the calamitous crown

Anything for power, anything for might

Anything to realize that elusive right

That right to make a change and be remembered

Forever as a saint

But somewhere along the way the path is lost

Too much blood on one’s hands to ever get back to the cause

Shame overtaking Disillusionment

A sense of Dread overtaking shame

Dread at all that’s been done

Dread at the price they had to pay

And while those who brought it all about

Were going through a crisis

One where they lost their faith

But still put on a brave face, for appearances sake

Thousands like me lay dead or dying

Just cannon fodder, not to be worried about

Just a bitter memory in the hearts of those we love

Our names to be put on a memorial

And soon forgot

I felt a deep disgust at all I had left behind

The cruel world would go on

Without so much as an impression

I did not feel the pain of my wound

That had felled me down,

But the infinitely worse crisis of faith

Was brought about

All of a sudden, a hysterical laugh escaped my lips-

Everything seemed so funny ,

Like it was naught but a joke.

I realized I was slipping into delirium,

As I stood at death’s door

A vulture took flight

As the deathly silence was broken

The only other sound that of the cold wind

Whistling through the broken,

Broken hills, broken trees

Which had existed for time immemorial

Now stood dissolute and forever ruined

By the work of Satan

My laugh was cut short

Due to lack of breath

As chocking on my own blood

I finally ceased my breath

A warmth spread over me

So complete and wholesome

Filling me and giving me

A new vision

There I saw my beloved

So beautiful and serene

Her long hair and deep dark eyes

Holding me in a dream

A sense of happiness took over me

And a smile spread across my face

As I finally gave up and embraced death

My only solace.

Karthik R


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