Letters from some Friends # 3.

For where the instrument of intelligence is added to brute power and evil will, mankind is powerless in its own defense...
Dante Alighieri

You asked, would I say that now...

Maybe not, defense may not
be the best answer...

Beatrice, Virgil and I considered
this on our coffee break.

All coffee cups refilled
we could have turned on the news
but broadcasts wearily repeated
the approach of debris to the meadow
the coffee cups rattled
"And what circle of hell for terrorists
who battle by bombing
innocent bystanders to make
their argument?" she asked.

"How can there be autumn, winter and spring -
things eternal -
when tanks roll over the crocus?"

We three sat there
surveying the damage to come
Searching for fragments of church
or splendid civic monuments to divert
the agony of the unrelenting flood.

I recalled the brilliance of her smile.
My heart reduced to ashes
long before any trials of hell.
"And what would you have me do

until terrorists repent?
When wave after wave defy revenge?"
My dreams were lost when debris
diseased Florential streams.

Only Virgil’s cool reason remained
"I've seen Hell's misery and still,
terrorists as innocent as their victims reappear.
What vow
makes your meadow worth keeping?"

She listened and waited for angels,
paradisiacal thunder - anything
to save the meadow and hell
overrun with honorable motives.

Tears rimmed her eyes while flies
collected for the summers to come.
"I vowed understanding." I realized
was my true answer,
"and to warn the crocus in spring
till nations suffer poets once more"

L. Fullington

If you've any comments on this poem, L. Fullington would be pleased to hear from you.