Do Not Stay Silent

Do not stay silent at my death,
Beat drums, ring bells,
I only knew the whine of shells.
Shout out, make sounds,
I only knew the rifle rounds,
Their buzzing, hateful hissing breath.
I never heard the final round,
The one that ceased my heart’s sweet sound.

But if you join the common hush
Take comfort in the ceaseless rush
Of traffic and a baby’s cry,
A distant jet that chalks the sky,
The sudden shock of something dropped,
That life itself has never stopped.

Then raise your voices if you will
Towards the suited fools who still
Send good men into futile war
By lip and mouth and jutting jaw.

Do not stay silent at my death.
Do not stay silent. Be my breath.

David Hulme