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War Poetry
Mark T. Jones, 'The Camp - Sierra Leone 2000' 
12th-Feb-2017 02:00 am
The Camp - Sierra Leone 2000

Did Peter Brueghel paint here?
Bestumped innocence sears my sight
How many tears could wash away such a scene?
Time affords us no such quantity.

Satan's flail has done its work
Limbs harvested and yet unused
Shattered lives as broken columns stand mute
A world unseen, some unseeing.

Did Hieronymous Bosch paint this?
He surely saw it - a living charnel house writ large
Minds dislocated in the name of some perverted peace
Such a canvas leaves one dumb.

What God has given man has taken
A blasphemy of slash and burn
Pax Africana upon the altar
Seemingly little resurrectional hope for thee.

Did Edvard Munch paint here?
He must have dreamt it-this fiendish site
Manmade, contorted out of shape and hate
These open wounds framed in guilt.

By Mark T. Jones

["One day I walked in to a vast camp filled with 3,500 amputees, some as young as two. The horrifying scene that confronted me brought to mind certain works by the artists mentioned in this poem."]
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