I am angry with you today, dead elephant friends
and lovers. I feel myself there amidst
the scattered gravel, the scorpions,
the very scent of murder.
I want to feel you again, but I shall not
now, for the beat of my life denies it, as does yours.
I would not rouse you if you were
not needed on this occasion like the milk
of a dying mare in the harsh sun. So
I ask if you will rise. And I ask,
and ask please. All your ghostly forms,
please rise and lend your heft
for you are needed, and you would
not anyway have this bond were
it not that you had some instinct spirit
of war upon which I now call.
Rouse yourselves, warlike women,
from death or from sleep, or from
your lovers; our children have need
of you and your warrior spirits.
As ghostly elephants from the swamps
may you arise, laughing, to wage war now
bedecked in cobwebs, dripping
fearsome things of love, moaning
in your mightiness, with vines and ivy
adorning your grey backs as you lift
all of you from the mires
then looking south or west
decide no, and decide and turn
this way, mighty beast,
for we have war now.