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Blood on the Leaves

We lay him down in a bed of ferns- 

The best shelter we could find. 

As we patched his gaping wounds and burns,

His flickering eyes caught mine-

O his eyes! Beautifully deep yet so stern; 

The glare of a military man, but so full of concern. 

To my surprise, he held my hand 

And made me in charge of the corp.

He then praised the motherland 

And wished us luck on the war. 

With a writhing body and dying breath, 

And a leaf-bed that was now red with blood, 

Our general embraced death and was given a hasty burial in the mud. 

Now, all eyes lay on me, awaiting orders. 

I told the young men to venture forth. 

The only way to escape enemy mortar

Was to head to the north. 

Heavily injured and outnumbered,

We trudged deeper into the forest, 

Where the crescendo of bullets made the chorus.

I was unable to say to their hopeful faces 

That the forest would be their final resting place. 

And in that solemn hour, wisdom struck;

A realisation amidst disaster-

Life is but a game of luck.

Some men are born slaves, some born masters. 

In some men, the thirst for power does devour reason 

And history serves as a museum to these men that suppress freedom, that enslave millions. 

But we are not them, we are the slaves,

The lowest party in the hierarchy. 

The forest is a burial ground 

And we should begin to dig our graves, 

For by fate we are bound, 

To be soldiers, to be slaves. 

-Yuvraj Bhandari


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