NIGHT OF A THOUSAND SENSES |
October 01, 2007
NIGHT OF A THOUSAND SENSES
Name: CAPT Benjamin Tupper
Posting date: 10/1/07
Returned from: Afghanistan
The day was hot.
Now the night arrives.
Scents of a dry earth…pungent hashish…warm flatbread…lamb and beans.
All woven and mixed together with each inhalation.
The air's gentle waves pass through my uniform, soaked in sweat.
Now it feels dry, new, fresh…washed clean by the wind.
The sky to the west dances with heat lightning.
Overhead, it is a sea of distant white stars.
To the east, this tranquility is broken by artillery, firing illumination shells into the expanse of blackness.
The shells rise from the guns -- invisible,
Then, without warning, explode into orbs of yellow light.
Below, the sleeping ground is awakened and lit by these man-made falling stars.
Soon they fade, and the night reclaims its dominance.
Hidden in a valley painted black by the night, a well pump's engine beats a constant rhythmic "thump thump thump",
A mechanical lullaby for the Afghan night.
Escorting dusty children into sleep, like a mother's heartbeat in a womb of sandy fields.
One by one, my senses are tranquilized.
The ethereal caress of the wind.
The firm grip of the earth.
The distant rhythm of war and industry.
The smells of nourishment and pleasure.
The night's act is complete.
My eye's close.