Friday, 16 April 2010

Poem: War and Concrete

War and concrete

Stories, cupolas bulge in these fields
we're passing through: these infamous
bunkers ranked across strategic slopes
refuse to let history disperse.
Stubborn, they endure at roadsides,
in vineyards, gardens, the city’s asphalt brink.
Goats graze along their silted mouths
and, garishly painted, one would draw
in clients for a rash and hasty tattoo.

Just when you think you’ve forgotten
the landscape’s overlaid again
with a grid of war and concrete
giants might use for stepping stones.
Too solid ruins outdo grey crags
where beech woods sheltered partisans.
Sunk shafts and gun-slits mark
a whole world gone. Count fifty
and you’ve barely even started.

It took an old Chinese tank to drag
one clear of sodden sand at Vlora,
and 800 Euros to dismantle it.
Elsewhere, too, you might have read
of how, to turn a dictator’s scheme
into this geometric, defensive terrain,
the architect became the first test case,
emerging from the shelled prototype,
deafened, unspeakably loyal, triumphant.

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