Joseph Porter

Fall Of Iron

Watching from a hospital bed as the bombs fell on Kosovo, I emerged in due course to take charge of the things that really mattered.

Descriptions of buildings waiting to fall
Of victims bewildered in cable reports
Of terror reprisals and casualty wards
But the pictures of children from the occupied zones
Fade with each fresh arrival of letters from home
Now my red eyes have found me travelling alone

I slept and I dreamed of an army encamped
In hospital quarters crippled and cramped
I waited and watched as the nightingale carried her lamp
Through the legless the armless the blind and insane
Dissent and disorder tender she came
Stopped by my bedside and softly she asked me my name

Like syringes her fingers were needles to deaden the pain
While thieves and malingerers listened I asked her to stay
But I woke up to find I'd been bleeding again

Lock on and loose drop down and shoot
We're damned if we don't and we're damned if we do
But the minister is satisfied a case can be proved
And it's time to start turning the screws
Intelligence sections are briefing the crews
Lock on and loose drop down and shoot
We levelled and laid them but we prayed for them too
How can a blind alleyway lead to the truth
First you give an eye for an eye add a tooth for a tooth
In the end you'll have nothing to lose

When so many around me to the battle succumbed
I called up my brothers and asked them to come
Because three heads together are better than one

Rainstorms and cloudbanks obscuring our view
We formed on the beacon and into the blue
North Westerly vectored in radio silence we flew
Lost with my thoughts in the bomber stream's flow
The hum of the engines and the instruments glow
Aloft on the winds of the jet stream dreaming I rode

With the countryside sleeping beneath us we crossed the unknown
Then pathfinder flares at the heart of the city below
Fed the firestorms spiralling out of control