Note: This poem was written after a photograph by Christopher Furlong, not by the art shown above. Click here to view, and scroll down to the second image shown.
An aerial perspective on a casualty of war,
A mechanized one, which, understandably,
No one will mourn, like Edgar Poe’s aristocrats
Who met the Red Death in their barricaded halls –
That scene recalled to mind as, with a chill,
One notes the Death’s Head in this photograph:
The glaring, vacant hatches which are empty
Eye sockets; the leering, broken grin
Formed by the blocks of gray reactive armor.
Like something out of Dia de los Muertos,
Only with the festive colours turning here to rust;
The grin decaying on the right to blackened gums –
This modern abstract on the theme of that
Which humankind continues to perpetuate.
Jeremiah Johnson earned his MA in Rhetoric in 2003 and then ran off to China to teach for a decade. His work has appeared in the Sequoyah Review and The Society of Classical Poets. He is also currently a teacher of English Composition and World Literature at the University of North Georgia and lives in Cumming, GA, with his wife and two sons.
The Ekphrastic Review
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