The Sky Is Dark
The sky is dark; the once wide vistas are
Cloaked and cloaked with the smoke of a
Thousand burned cities. The stench and
Rotten reek of these infernos is inescapable,
It penetrates, perverts, poisons the memory
Of everything that once was lovely: fresh
Bread, soft and warm, yearning for a drizzle
Of oil or knob of butter; a new-mown cricket
Pitch under an unexpected April sun; the
Glorious heady sweat of their entangled sheets after.
Now all is fire.
Now all is charred putrescence.
Now all is screams.
They are fainter now, fainter every
Too, too slow-passing hour.
Their hillside cave may be
Sanctuary enough for now,
But they know it will not be long.
The bottle is untouched;
The smell of the bonfire is too
Strong, too omnipresent.She
Tries again that little trick that
Made him fall in love with her,
But expecting a response from
Him now is too much to ask.
At last they hear it. Destruction borne on flaming
Wings, like Milton’s fallen angels risen anew,
Mushroom clouds of fury and untamed malice.
They look. They stand. They turn. They kiss.
It comes so quickly there is no time for pain.
The sky is dark.
‘Out of sight and shot they flew, and yet were ever present, and their deadly voices rent the air. More unbearable they became, not less, at each new cry. At length even the stout-hearted would fling themselves to the ground as the hidden menace passed over them, or they would stand, letting their weapons fall from nerveless hands while into their minds a blackness came, and they thought no more of war, but only of hiding and of crawling, and of death.’ – J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King