By Joseph Armstead

The sign on the hill
Has the marks of muddy
Boot treads on it and
It is sinking in the mud and ash.

Ageless eyes
that beheld the wonders
Of the endless spaceways
The glories of the cosmos
Blink back cold tears.

He is alone.
The wind fans his hair
And it smells of old fires,
Wet concrete and rusted steel.
He listens for the silence.

His wounds bleed.
Here there once were kings,
in this place of shattered brick,
and they held sway over nations
and armies of fearsome might.

He sees Time
Pass like the waters of
An infinite river, no stone
By the same water twice,
As the embattled world decays.

He is forever,
All that exists around him is not.
All that burns, smouldering, will fade,
Into dim memory for descendents
Of proud warriors and greedy lords.

Curtains of blood
Descend on the last dark act of
A passion play with no audience,
The ghosts of war-torn history
And the sad last pages of the future.

Immortal eyes,
Like twin stars,
See the sign that lies in the
Wet ashen muck, and read
The words
“You Can Save”
and the tears that fall
thereafter are hot and bitter.

The sign on the hill
Is covered by gray ash and
Obsidian smoke as the
Mud swallows it whole.

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