Comment from Turveen Gill, editor MasticadoresIndia
Tony’s poem speaks volumes about the pitiful truth of war and bloodshed. Weapons handed to youngsters in the name of duty, their lives sacrificed for the supposed good of their nations. But behind the lies and deceit, larger forces are at play, and they climb upon the dead to reach for more power. The final words of an assault rifle couldn’t be more honest and chilling. How many more will die knowing only the feeling of murderous metal in their hands?
Lay me down, half boy half man,
lay me down, I’m hot.
Burning your hands, I am,
lay me down, I’m shot.
The next round won’t fire.
Warning you, my fresh-faced keeper
you am wanted by the Reaper.
Would have liked to be a plough,
would have made good,
turning earth, here and now.
Would have, and should;
instead, they made me a driller
of bullets, and you my son, a killer.
You praise me, when you’re sleeping,
you call me your lover
but when I’m spitting lead
you call me a fucker.
Crusader, this round’s a bad one,
and I’m overheating. I’m done.
It’ll blow you to kingdom come.
Melting down, I can’t speak now.
Melting down, death trap.
Burning your heart, I am.
Melting down, worthless scrap.
Pray, pity, maker of guns.
Pity the death, of your sons.
He is a short haired, well-built, who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, just old enough to buy a round of drinks but old enough to die for his country. He recently left comprehensive school where he was probably, an average student, played some form of sport, drove a ten-year-old rust bucket, and knew a girl that either broke up with him when he left, or swore to be waiting when he returns home. He moves easily to mood music and hip‐hop, and to the rattle of an AK-74 assault rifle.