In the Semi-silence of Crosses White

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)

(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?

but then,

who needs half-answers to half-queries?
who gives half-cares and half-worries?

as fallen soldiers lay
half-remembered, semi-forgotten…

… in the semi-silence of crosses white.

– between
 fault and vault
is dead soldier.

(c) 2001 Chito L. Aguilar


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