Dresden, Atlanta, And What May Have Gone Wrong

Atlanta or Dresden, the scathing-quick sword
To fall upon some winter-night
And history, proven, to answer itself
In actions yet covered in Right
The sharpness of stars in crystalline glazing
Summer, Southern-faded and fused
While the depth of the evening in screams and shadow
Incendiary-inducing hues

And one proudly proclaimed in the Hell of War
Flaming something that always had been
While Lancasters paraded secrets inside
And only a few, yet, have seen
The difference in war and improper judgement
What happens, maybe, and then
The scars and the ashes imposed on it still
And assuring--it may happen again

Bury the sword and the fears do away
Injustices rationalized
Too far yet! They caution, deride, each attempt
Made then, to justify
The face-drawn of evil and flags still waving
The difference in war and in death
Both drawn conclusions as old as the World
But now all too hard to accept

And why not Atlanta? There it was forged
What war in itself would soon become
And those fires still raging, the window still closed
The battle still far from won
And the heart of the South, melting the sea
In waves of the still-burning lead
All for a cause that was no Cause at all
And still, they are counting their dead.

O yet...tragic Dresden, shattered and hidden
Published and taken away
The papers untrue, the figures encrypted
And still, it is there left to say
Shattering Lancaster, Fortresses still
And from miles and miles around
Tho' Oceans away we still are regretting
Dresden does not make a sound

And Truth! Still hypocrites, truth as it is
In the cities of war and of fire
O come now, remembering may be a waste
And the Lancaster bombers run higher
Truth, if you find it in tragic expression
Atlanta and Dresden may burn
And out-dated papers, uncounted stories
Yet, left to us now, to Learn