Saturday, May 29, 2004
Walking in the Stars
Last words are not remarkable as a rule.
They drift away, have nothing much to say,
Murmurs hardly loud enough to catch the ear:
'Please for some water', 'I so cold in here'.
Not more nor less than this or that.
Dying is a puzzled, incoherent act.
But this one! He described his desert days,
Rose-coloured forts and old battalion pals.
'Servant of the Crown', one of the old school,
He served the King in post-war Palestine.
One still, clear night in Galilee
The stars dripped silver in a midnight sea.
He and his platoon went wading out
Far from shore so that they could shout
Loud among the stars and be heard by God.
He ends before he ends the story:
A sentence cut in half is his last word.
His exultant voice clamours to be heard:
'I, walking in the stars, in great glory...'