Small Wars Journal

Colors in Concrete

Colors in Concrete

Keith Nightingale

The city is crumbles, chunks, and powdered concrete

Twisted girders shadow streets, moving with the sun

Window frames yawn and vacantly stare

Wires, once high, now drape and line the avenues

Geometric lanes of death and mutual assured destruction

The wind blows furtively, pushing waves of plastic, dust and paper in its path

Forms lie prostrate, liquid red ochre oozing in the dust

Dogs find wary solace in shrouded corners, casting fearful inquisitive eyes

Sounds echo from the myriad machines of death called infantry

Temporarily playing

Permanently dying

Working. Working. Working through the streets

Brass and links create a discordant concert on the pavement

Shadows stalk shadows and echo responses

Concrete powders.  Pavement erupts and steel finds new space

Man’s work becomes nature’s garden

Refuse piles protect and nurture

Men move, but seeds stay 

Blown on winds beyond control of a bullet’s grasp--

Nature’s hope despite human actions

The shadows and uniforms ebb and flow in fiery energy

Nature’s ancient seeds remain docile, silent, and unyielding

Generationally experienced in the whims of man

Ultimate conquerors riding on images of suppliance

Rain and blood nurture

Liquid iron, rain, and sunshine unleash powers beyond the greatest energies the combatants could ever muster

The tiny grows and thrives in the combatant climate as if energized by the extra rations brought to bear

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, green emerges as color--  becomes noticeable to both sides

Hope and wishes of equal fervor

A future where none now exists

The seeds of soldiers