Pearls, pierced and dark with bitter gold

Helicoptered in, the morning sun buffs the silver ships of intoxicating war.

My wide adolescent eyes absorb like my mother’s

kitchen sponge the wet electric energy of foreign war:

surreal, ravishing, industrialized death.


Forty-two years wing past. The images lie broken and fragile: Stone Age DNA,

yet molten bright with shaman power of blood and battle.

The images lace into an amulet of hard recollections,

river stones of memory ballasting mind and heart against errant winds,

stones bronzed and burnished smooth by calloused fingers

of constant regret; pearls, pierced and dark with bitter gold,

forever disquieting, forever priceless.


The helicopters lie crushed: crashed now, quiet and vine pierced.

The morning sun still buffs their gaping hulks,

memories still molten bright with shaman power.

Copyright Tim Bagwell


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