Anthony W. Pahl


As my spirit died my senses soared.
My heart still beat, my eyes saw more.
I heard not less – but loud and clear
and sweat signed clearly all my fear.
Holding firm to threads of now,
disregarding the why and how,
joining hands with never was,
ending when and just because!

Each moment since my spirit died
I questioned how I could survive.
No liberation would be known;
compassion could be rarely shown.
Chains cast by the Devil’s forge
were tempered with no righteous cause.
Though I have killed with thought and sword
I’ve never murdered by my word

I am no Cain, though I have killed –
I am Abel and victim still.
I’ve been to earthly hell and back;
in front of death’s dark door I’ve sat.
Chains of despair, those links of pain
are weakened as love’s strength I gain.
Though Satan may re-forge those links
their substance still retains their chinks.

Truth in war is the will to live;
morals drain as if through a sieve.
All senses die as horror numbs.
Man’s antithesis I have become.
And pains of war always survive
for aeons after peace arrives;
deaths lure with its promise filled
is tempting compared to life in hell.

I can and do write; reasons unclear
to all but myself – mind numb with fear.
To defend reality within my mind,
to continue living while I define
what I am; where I am; why I am me.
The answer’s nowhere that I can see.
And if deaths promise is truer than life’s
why should I bother to bear this strife?

I know! I know! What I know is
that my life’s not mine; it’s not mine to give.
To Him I belong, and to those I love.
When my turn comes to be with Him above
I will gladly feel the chains of despair
disintegrate softly with His breath of air.
And I will look at Cain’s Master below
writhing in agony at my God’s blows.