May 11, 2011

The Stillness

Null silence, like an ocean, floods the air
And squeezes from our skulls all ordered thought,
Where men along proud battlements prepare
To champion a cause some noble wrought.

Such insufficient, breathless suffocation
Fills now the lungs, now clouds across the eye
Yet steels the nerve in heady expectation
As each man reconciles his chance to die.

Each soldier knows his place, each holds his ground.
We are full ready, nothing needs be done
And so we wait and watch without a sound
Each praying we've not seen our final sun.

Then rides a shiver through the veins of stone
A signal that the adversary nears.
The stillness shatters as a horn is blown
And savage war cries stab into our ears.

All heaven holds its breath.  The pulse of earth
Is raptured in the beating of the drums.
This is the day - the hour - to prove my worth,
To face the faceless enemy that comes.

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