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Rated: E · Poetry · War · #2301737
Horrors of war that live in the mind and soul poem. Tribute to Lancelot Alexander Smart.
Still a child they went fight in a war
Overnight, with a gun in their hands - they became "men"
All this or so they were told, was to protect their land
The government sold them out and betrayed their land

From ambushes to the stillness - confusion reigned
Brainwashed killing machines, like hunters prowled
Void of sleep and guilt, they became beasts of violence
Beneath the beast lies not a "man" but a frightened child

The felt pain, smelt death and sold their souls to live
Faces from long ago, dead faces, explode in their dreams
With no soul they do not live but merely exist
And all the lost boys who died - THEY died in vain

Tribute to Lancelot Alexander Smart

Lancelot Alexander Smart, a name that held the weight of ancestral valor and youthful dreams, emerged from the cocoon of his normal childhood with a heart that bore the burdens of a thousand unsung battles. The bushveld, once his sanctuary of innocence, had now become a repository for his unspoken longings and restless yearnings. Every rustling leaf seemed to whisper secrets of untamed beauty and raw life, a stark contrast to the storm that brewed within him.

As the years slipped away like grains of sand through an hourglass, Lance's destiny unfurled like a cryptic map, both revealing and obscuring the path ahead. His fingers, once nimble with the curiosity of a child exploring new frontiers, now danced to the rhythm of wires and currents. Each connection and disconnection, each spark of energy, mirrored the intricate web of emotions that wove through his soul. But even amidst the hum of electricity, a symphony of longing continued to echo in his heart.

Compulsory military service loomed on the horizon like a shadowy specter, a rite of passage that beckoned with equal parts dread and intrigue. The call to become a parabat, a title that held the weight of familial legacy, etched a mixture of pride and trepidation into the fabric of Lance's being. His father's footsteps, once giant imprints to follow, now felt like an invisible shackle, guiding his sense of duty with an iron grip.

The borderlands of Angola stretched before Lance like a fever dream, a surreal landscape where the boundaries between life and death blurred into a distorted tapestry of chaos. Dropped from the heavens like a solitary star, he descended into a world where the very air seemed pregnant with uncertainty. Each breath he drew was laced with tension, every heartbeat a reminder of his fragile mortality. As he plummeted earthward, his heart thundered in his chest, a desperate rhythm that seemed to synchronize with the cacophony of gunfire below.

"Meat bomb" they called him, a moniker that dripped with the bitter irony of war's cruelty. The weight of that label hung heavy around his neck, a reminder that the sky could be both a harbinger of life and a gateway to an impending death. The moment his boots touched the unforgiving earth, fear gripped him like a vice, squeezing his insides until every nerve screamed in protest. Alone in the darkness, he felt the absence of his comrades like a gaping wound, a loneliness that seemed to stretch to the very ends of the earth.

The memories that followed were a relentless barrage, a symphony of horrors that played on the strings of his mind. Nights became a battlefield where Lance fought his own demons, his sweat-soaked sheets bearing witness to the internal struggle that raged within him. The fear of fire, a primal terror that gnawed at the edges of his sanity, became a specter that haunted his dreams. Each night, he would awaken in a cold sweat, his heart racing, his breath caught in the grip of a silent scream.

When the war's grip finally released him, society offered no gentle hand to guide him back from the abyss. There were no therapists to unravel the tangled threads of his mind, no words of solace to heal the wounds that festered within. Instead, the bottle became his refuge, its intoxicating embrace a temporary respite from the storm that raged in his soul. The burn of alcohol sliding down his throat was a bittersweet reminder that, for a fleeting moment, he could escape the prison of his thoughts.
Occasionally, a mercenary's call would pierce through the haze of his existence, a lifeline that offered purpose amidst the sea of numbness. The weight of a gun in his hand became an extension of his fractured psyche, a conduit for the pent-up fury and anguish that threatened to consume him. In those moments, he was a force of nature, a tempest of precision and detachment, a whirlwind that found solace in the destruction it wrought.

But beneath the veneer of resilience lay a fractured soul, a tapestry of shattered hopes and buried fears. Relationships crumbled like fragile sandcastles, unable to withstand the weight of his silent torment. Amidst the ruins, the memory of a high school sweetheart shimmered like a distant mirage, a beacon of innocence in a world tainted by darkness. He clung to that memory like a lifeline, a fragile connection to a time before the shadows took root.

Lance's heart was a labyrinth of emotions, a maze of corridors that led to memories he dared not face. He sought solace in the company of fellow warriors, a brotherhood bound by shared trauma. Their unspoken bond was a fragile thread of connection, a lifeline that anchored him to the realm of the living, a sanctuary where he could momentarily escape the haunting memories that chased him.

To those who couldn't fathom the depths of his anguish, Lance was a puzzle with missing pieces, a mosaic of contradictions and fractured emotions. Their well-intentioned words fell upon his ears like distant echoes, their advice a feeble attempt to mend a soul that had been shattered beyond repair. The chasm between his inner turmoil and the world's perception of him grew wider, a void that threatened to consume him entirely.

In the end, Lance's desperation found a confidant in a childhood friend, a flicker of hope in a world shrouded in darkness. But the torment was a tempest that could not be quelled, a maelstrom that pulled him ever deeper into the abyss. On the fateful 26 July 2003, the chapter of his tormented existence reached its heart-wrenching conclusion. It was also the birthday of his sister, forever changing her birthday into a day of heartbreak and pain.

Lancelot Alexander Smart, a warrior whose battles were fought not only on the battlefield but within the recesses of his own mind, succumbed to the weight of his suffering. The darkness that had long cast its shadow over his life finally claimed its victory, extinguishing the flicker of hope that had stubbornly endured. In the stillness of that tragic moment, Lance's journey found its final rest, leaving behind a legacy of pain, resilience, and the haunting truth that even the strongest souls can be broken beyond repair.
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