POEMS - THOUGHTS WRITTEN IN TRENCHES, BARS AND BEDROOMS
By Sebastian Rich.
Afghanistan Lost -The return
A wretched land but calls again, to its breast I know not why I return
A calm of mind in war, others pain, my salvation perhaps
I have no answers only questions but one thing I am sure
I love you to the depth and height my soul can reach
I love you, by sun and candlelight
I love you purely and with my childhood's faith in good
I love you with every melting beat of my heart
I love you with the breath, smiles and tears, of all my life!
Afghanistan a sad and lonely land locked in perpetual strife
We have much in common bitter land and I
If I should fall will a loving God allow me to love you even after death.
Sebastian Rich New Years Day 2009 (inspired by Elizebeth-Barrat-Browning) Helmand province/Afghanistan.
The Day Before I Died
I imagine what you are doing, I feel you by my side,
The evening when I left you, I wish I'd never cried,
Your shoulders heavy with guilt, confusion sadness too,
Your last words echoed inside my head "Just get out, just go “
With no kiss to be remembered on some unhappy distant day,
“Just get out just go”
So I sit here looking out on a bloodied Afghan plain,
I cry the tears of loss that water my selfish soul into forgotten sand
Bitter shadows at the edge of me, torn bodies of Afghanistan the dead laughing at the stain
The pain and joy, the curse of memory can I be a man
You are with me every second; Do you somehow know that too
I go to bed and all I feel is you.
The morning comes with desperate hope of your warm breath upon my neck
I turn to feel the cold lonely space with an empty kiss – I scream, where the fuck are you.
“Just get out just go”
Sebastian Rich Jalalbad Afghanistan July 2009
The Space Between The Sky and Dreams
Asleep But Not
A world between the sky and dreams
Will I wake in the grip of guilt with the secret that I hide in sleep all to well?
Safe in slumber unborn in day, a secret between the sky and waking thoughts of shame.
I stare but do not touch the men who gave so much. I follow like a brutish dog with no weapon at my side save the sharp tongue of one who has not died.
Eyes that have seen thru me and beyond the sham I call self.
Eyes begging release from pain gaze into the sky I share on blood horizons.
I survive - a curse on the soldier or Marine I choose to record or erase.
In between the sky and dreams I can hear the tears from a thousand eyes tumble to my pillow.
Again I wake in doubt and guilt I think my secret safe, but they know, how they know.
A world between the sky and dreams secrets safe in slumber, unborn in day.
Helmand Province Afghanistan June 2011
War and Peace
The perceived madness of war and the ridiculous sham of peace are divided by a flimsy partition of rice paper in the mind. War sorts the wheat from the chaff of men in turn causing a heightened sense of, invulnerability, immortality, awareness, arousal, and melancholy that knows no bounds of appropriateness or cares.
I want to live, love and die behind the flak jacket of my cameras lens in a shithole of my own choosing and not in the senseless mediocrity and insanity of routine.
No one ever lied to me within the sound of gunfire.
Sebastian Rich Marja Afghanistan Jan - 2010
Out of the trenches alone with my thoughts
Life grinds on and on regardless, mindless, producing pain, pleasure, hope, fear, joy and despair.
Sometimes I dodged some of it and sometimes I sought some of it, sometimes it hits me so hard the tears uncontrollably fall, sometimes I was lucky and sometimes I wasnt.
Sometimes I could plan my way ahead and that would be the right thing to have done, but other times all I could do was forget about plans and just be ready to react. Sometimes the obvious was true and sometimes it wasnt,
and sometimes experience helped but not always, it was all luck, fate, in the end.
Sometimes I lived and waited to see what happened, and I would rarely ever be sure that what I had done was really the right thing or the wrong thing.
Because things can always be better and things can always be worse, sometimes.
Fuck the night and the day it came from.
My heart misses a beat or two
I have lost me and you, fuck this empty bed.
My eyes are closed but they search for a memory of a smile
your name strangled in my throat
I cannot breathe, the stifling memories of things unsaid
hold me tight please, hold me tight