To Slaughter Sparrows | a Poem

Ascend these soldiers, their wings
Are called for humble graces, my kings

Shatter goblets and countries, all likely
A blithe performance, certainly
Our Prince Reaper’s harvest growing

Devil taps a nail, song spun on bone
And down, down descend the soldiers so
Quarrel flocks like murders flown
On wings, wings of steel and oak

Yet Murder! Murder! some village somewhere sings
Far off, death’s still a tragedy
And up, up and up that body floats
Light as feathers in powdered smoke

Punctured steel and sinew rends
Life like life casts itself in pints
There they march, brave souls
Romanticizing stupidity and casualty

Ascend these soldiers, their wings
Tire and dread their marching, my kings

Dismantle borders and throats, all likely
A blithe performance, certainly
Our Prince Reaper’s harvest growing

Imp tracks like infantry soles,
Souls sewn up in taut sacks of thousands
Thank the ephemeral ghosts don’t decompose
Else Hell’d be an insufferable home
I’ll have your head, but may I take your coat?

Yet Thief! Thief! some city somewhere sings
Far off, this arrest’s a fantasy
And up, up and up that body swings
A thief dressed up with final prayers
Silences the crowd with stuttered feet
And crow croaking as his bough creaks
An elegy fit for kings