Monday, 2 April 2012

And We'll Rise

You can kill us but you can’t destroy us
For you will pass
And we’ll rise.

You can crush us down, tear us to pieces
Under the clattering tracks of your monster tanks
Their barrels like bars across the prisoning sky.

You can cut us down, under your bulldozer blades
As you cut down the orchards and break down the walls
You can make us bleed as easily
As you can make the children cry.

All that is in your power. Killing is what you do
Death is what you bring with you,
Skull-face leering over your shoulder,

Death, dressed in a business suit,
Death, dressed in uniform.
We have no defence against death.

Yes you can kill us a thousand times, in a thousand ways.
You can shoot us and bomb us, burn us and strangle us
You can erase all we know and loved
But you can’t destroy us.

No, because time is on our side
And though you crush us down
You, too will pass, and once more, we’ll rise.

You will consume yourself, in your fury
One day you will be gone,
And we’ll rise.

Like grass from the ground in spring, like clouds in the sky
Like the phoenix from the ashes
Once again, we’ll rise.

The earth will still go around the sun
When you’re gone
The world will still know sorrow and joy
When you’re gone
The moon will wax and wane, the tides will rise and fall
And we will arise, we will walk tall
After you’re gone.

There will be no tanks then, no guns no bombs
No drones flying up in the skies.

Just me, he, she, we together
From the funeral pyre of your ambitions
From the wreckage of your cruelty

Kill us, trample us down a hundred thousand times
Like laughter after sorrow, like today gives way to tomorrow
From your hate and your burning fire
Like a comet turning sunwards

Once more, we’ll rise.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2012


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. So, the Frost is white on the ground, is it? Nice to meet you, and welcome.

  2. Bill, this should be a song, either in classical Indian carnatic style, or Metal. I guess I know which genre you prefer...

    1. Interesting you should say that. I'm tone-deaf, but I was thinking in terms of a simple repetitive rhythm, more like a ballad than anything. I rather rarely listen to my own writing playing in my head.

  3. This portion reminds me very much of T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men":

    "Death, dressed in a business suit,
    Death, dressed in uniform."

    1. I'd better read that. I haven't read much Eliot outside Murder In The Cathedral.


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