Therefore one-hundred victories in one-hundred battles
is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting
is the most skillful. War is of vital importance to the state
and should not be engaged carelessly.”
– fr. The Art of War, Sun Tzu (6th century BC)
IN THE SEMI-SILENCE OF CROSSES WHITE
(Black Verses on White Paper: My Full Tribute to Fallen Soldiers)
in the semi-silence of crosses white
beneath the semi-shaded field of green
skeletons of fallen heroes lie semi-forgotten.
the setting sun
(now a semi-circle on the horizon)
pays half-tribute, throws half-light
fading like the glum echoes of 21-gun salute.
in the dank niches below ground
in half-empty crypts half-full of bones
no light conveys half-comfort
no sound confers half-company
to them who gave their whole lives for cause.
no song half-sung, no poem half-spoken
no prayer half-uttered could bring them back.
after half-mast flags
after half-stated eulogies
after half-hearted sympathies
they lie half-remembered.
((( “ … because they died for all.
… because of duty’s call.
… because all wars take toll.” )))
who minds half-lies said?
or half-truths read?
in the name of ideology
in the pursuit of freedom
in the upholding of valor
who hears half-praises?
who heeds half-excuses
when soldiers die?
who admits fault?
who feels remorse?
who needs half-answers to half-queries?
who gives half-cares and half-worries?
as fallen soldiers lay
… in the semi-silence of crosses white.
fault and vault
is dead soldier.
(c) 2001 Chito L. Aguilar