Friday, August 19, 2011

Old Warrior Eyes by Bob Atkinson


"Old Warrior Eyes”

(c)2011 Bob Atkinson

he had seen the end of days
of strength and much older ways
now was a time so different
his heart begged him to return

return to shouts of glory
to those old camp fires, telling stories
of strength and honor dissipated
and a culture given up for lost

the dance, the song the banging drums
the nights of being such wild men
upon the land of living things
where only the strong survived

but, now his bones ached
from injury and old age
his power no longer at its peak
sadness his only song

steam power drew them east
a wild, fire snorting beast
clanking of metal against itself
held together with steel rails

the woman who had saved
him from death for his old age
sat behind him in her stoic pose
still protecting his life as always

she knew not where they went
for her brother she did lament
her heart was saddened now
yet, she still had all her powers

the scout who signed up for duty
giving loyalty to the new ones
sat hard upon his bench
was also toward the prison headed

Florida had been the call
all knew nothing of how they'd fallen
into the trap of vicious men
with strength but not grand intelligence

fate had bit them hard
on them and all their charges
women with their frowns of doubt
the men saddened without their guns

at least the killing stopped for now
food was given at even, not odd hours
seemed so strange a life to live
not to struggle and to fight well

fight for ways that had been given
by Ussen, the one who looked upon
the people of the dry parched lands
where hardship laid its bitter hand

while ending all those warriors' lives
the women and children too had died
as they tried to continue life
as it had always been

remembering stories that had been told
by men very wise but extremely old
who were born in glory days
and had been lucky not to die

a death as was here so common
by the hand of men with guns
the normal way to leave the land
always violent, always sudden

those who struggled so very hard
to continue the old ways of life
carried with them the burden
of being the last warriors to fight

or were they the last?
I don't think so
was years before
the stillness took hold

others fought, killed and died
to continue with their native pride
and move in the mountains as did the winds
while giving to it their last good breath

Contact Bob Atkinson

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